This week, I’m digging out from being sick for several days. It can be overwhelming to take days off (in this case, I spent a couple weekend days and a couple work days in bed), so I’m focusing on small wins. 

In other words, what are the things that need to be done, but that I can also quickly cross off my to-do list in order to feel like I’m accomplishing something?

It got me thinking about those impactful things that take 5 minutes or less, but that really can make a difference. 

Here are some examples:

  • Checking my (physical) mailbox (gets me out of the house after several days in bed and it’s a good way to test my sea legs)
  • Unloading the dishwasher and wiping down my kitchen counters
  • Updating my grocery list (including any medicine that needs to be replaced if I used it up)
  • Quickly running through my email box to delete what I can (so that it looks less overwhelming when I actually start processing the emails that need to be read and responded to)
  • Making a list of meetings to reschedule (from being out of the office)
  • Throwing a load of laundry into the washer
  • Taking out the kitchen / bathroom trash
  • Uploading a video to YouTube for one of my writing groups
  • Reviewing my calendar for the remainder of the week and creating a short list of tasks for upcoming meetings

Each of these items really makes a difference in helping me to feel more organized as I get back to work — and they each only take 5 minutes or less.

To think on:

  • What tasks that are 5 minutes or less impact your day in a positive way?
  • How do you like to ease back in after taking time off work?