The Value of Five Minutes

by Tamera Dunn

Initially, five minutes doesn’t sound like a lot of time. It's approximately the length of a song, with the exception of gems such as Stairway to Heaven, Free Bird, or Alejandro (if you’re into Lady Gaga) which clock in closer to the ten minute mark. It sure does not seem like a lot of time when you have a huge project due in five minutes and you’re praying all things on the submission side go smoothly. It also seems like no time at all when you’re stuck in traffic and the meeting your boss is expecting you to attend starts in five.

However, think about the number of conduct cases one can process or reassign in five minutes. (I promise, it’s SEVERAL. Nothing like a clean inbox on the conduct management system to create a sense of accomplishment). Think about the number of students who walk in and out of a door of a building hosting classes in five minutes (especially if they are the five minutes before a class starts!). Think about those five minutes of preparation before a student shows up for a meeting. The nervous five minutes before a job interview begins. Don’t dismiss the potential of what one can accomplish if they break it down into five minute spurts of determined productivity.

Each day, when I have the urge to tweet or say something passive-aggressive, I instead take a deep breath and think of a way to constructively use five minutes I would otherwise spend venting or tiptoeing around explaining my social media expressions. Seems odd? Here’s what I’ve managed to accomplish in the last week with this strategy:

    • Wrote 5 thank you/thinking of you cards and mailed them to friends & family
    • Sent a few thinking of you emails
    • Outlined a paper for class
    • Knocked out some reading for classes
    • Cleaned my bathroom (not that it wasn’t clean, but now it is SPOTLESS. HA.)
    • Baked chocolate chip cookies and shared with my roommates...
    • Finally figured out Snapchat...really.
    • Cleaned out the fridge...sadly not all food is delicious forever.

It may seem to be the case that there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything, but a negative attitude toward the value of any amount of time makes productivity difficult. Remember to keep it positive and to make the most of the odd chunks of time as they appear on your calendar!

Student Affairs - the First Years

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