life in a list

Life in a list: the 10-minute list

There is something that occupies our every day, that steals our hours and gives us another excuse to not achieve our dreams. It's called dead time.

Just think about the last time you ran for the bus, arriving at the bus stop just in time to see it pulling away (I frequently overestimate my ability to make it down the road quickly). What about when you arrive at the post office only to find your ticket puts you number 25 in the queue (after all the UK loves queuing so much it now hands out tickets to mark the occasion). Or the time you realise the doctor has only called their 9.15am appointment and it's 10am. Oh and let's not forget the occasions you miscalculate dinner timings are are left watching the pot never boil. 

Of course, you could mourn your lot, kick yourself for not exercising enough or generally look a bit mean (or audibly huff). 

Or, you could get productive.

It's amazing what can be achieved in a often-discarded piece of dead time. Trouble is, without writing down how to use it when the opportunity arises, you could find yourself plotting and planning until it's time to move on.

In 10 minutes, I have emailed friends, written thank you notes that make me smile, completed my physio exercises (admittedly I have also received some odd looks) and actually read the industry articles that otherwise gather dust on my desk. I've listened to my headspace app, practised a bit of mindfulness, made an overdue call, planned a blog and read the first chapter of the book I promised I read. 

10 minutes is all it takes to make me realise that something is possible. 10 minutes is all I need to get started and stop procrastinating. 10 minutes is actually a good chunk of time if you use it wisely.

I have also discovered the Blinkist app, which I love! This clever, time-saving tool, accepts that we don't have the time or the bookshelves to surround ourselves in the greatest personal, professional and inspirational life thinking. So, it distils down both popular and topical thinking into a series of short digestible blinks that give you the gist - or motivate you to buy and devour the book linked to it. You probably need about 15 minutes in fairness. But there's nothing like a quick hit of inspiration to spur you on the greater things.

I should probably add that I do relax. But, nearly losing my life made me fear the dead time. And now it's not dead at all. Or, more accurately, it's only dead if I let it. 

So, if you're prepared to face the embarrassment of doing a few squats on a train platform or perfecting the art of writing while standing up, then get writing that list. 

I have mine tucked away in a notebook I carry with me as a quick reminder.

Who knows, you might find yourself rejoicing at news of a train delay or extra long queue at the GP surgery.