So much can happen in 10 minutes. Yet, often we forget that we all can make space and time to enjoy 10 minutes for ourselves. We skip so many things because we feel we don't have an extra 10 minutes every day.
The ten minutes are not the issue, however. What truly stops us is decision fatigue. The term refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a lengthy decision-making session.
With busy lives come decisions, and with decisions come choices. Admitting that decision fatigue can be a factor in times like these can make it easier to avoid the various pitfalls that can come with the territory.
Part of the reason decision fatigue can happen is when we can see our daily routine as an overwhelming mountain to overcome. However, research shows that mental fatigue can be relieved by making minor positive decisions.
Below you can find a list of 5 simple things you can do (in ten minutes or less) to level up your day.
You can eat your breakfast.
How many of us skip breakfast these days to reclaim those 10 minutes in the morning? Maybe we inject coffee into our system without even thinking about it. Yes, a healthy breakfast is excellent for your wellbeing and energy. However, it is a lot more than that. Your breakfast could become your first ritual to set the day right. Rituals are symbols, and they allow us to engage our emotions.
Anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski suggests, we turn to rituals when facing situations where the outcome is essential, uncertain, or beyond our control.
He discovered that Trobrianders practised magical rituals when fishing in the open sea — they wanted to ensure safety. However, they didn't exercise any such ceremony when fishing in the inner lagoon, where they were no sharks.
Whether you prepare it the night before or cook it on the spot, make your breakfast an experience. Sit down. Enjoy your food. Smell your cup of coffee before you drink it.
"We see in every culture — and throughout history — that people who perform rituals report feeling better," admits behavioural scientist Michael Norton.
You can stretch your body.
Incorporate a short stretch or yoga routine. Take a break throughout the day to increase your mobility. I don't need to tell you how important it is to make sure that we stretch our back, arms, and shoulders.
Did you know that the typical office worker may spend up to a whopping 15 hours per day sitting? Studies show how sitting or lying down for too long can increase your risk of chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
Take the time throughout the day to have a short movement snack as mobility and stretch, as it can help you feel more limber. It will also help you unwind at the end of the day and create a powerful ritual to close the working day.
In 10 minutes, you can shake it off.
This 10-minute break is perfect if you're not feeling too good or need a mood boost. You can do it on your own. You can do it with a friend. You can create a short playlist with two or three songs that you can listen to when you need a little pick me up. Tapping into our body significantly when stress arises can change your mood in just a few seconds.
Studies suggest that listening to music had an impact on stress response, particularly the autonomic nervous system. Those who had listened to music tended to recover more quickly following a stressor.
You can do a speedy workout.
Even better than just stretching, You can add a 10-minute "workout snack" throughout the day. Whenever you need an energy boost, embrace a sweaty pick-me-up if you want the extra rush of caffeine without drinking the coffee.
The truth is, a lot of us struggle to do a one hour or 45-minute workout these days. Why not break it down into two or three short movements sessions throughout the day? Extra brownie points for making you happier and boosting endorphins, as well as increasing your productivity by encouraging a proper break.
In 10 minutes, you can call a friend.
Yes, in 10 minutes, you can spend some time talking to a friend, catch up with a loved one. Even better, you can create easy boundaries by letting people know how much time you have to catch up.
Connecting with other people and just sharing how we're feeling can be a compelling way to let go of any negative emotion and make us feel more centred. It also encourages gratitude and kindness, which are something for you to celebrate at the end of each day.
You can have a little walk outside.
I don't need to tell you the benefits of being outside walking. In a way, you'll be able to optimise your day and make sure that you can fit some time for meetings. There's a variety of podcasts that you can listen to that just last 10 minutes or less, or you can engage in a walking meditation.
Try listening out for birdsong, look for bees and butterflies, or notice the movement of the clouds. All of these good things in nature can help you to find a sense of calm and joy. Afterwards, you can come back to work brighter, happier, and a bit more engaged.
What are some of the benefits of taking 10 minutes for yourself?
First of all, you can wake up lighter and happier. You will be able to find the energy and the motivation to wake up.
Similarly, you can and winding down in the evening, including activities that promote better sleep. Overall, 10 minutes are the perfect boost for your mental health. Yeah, it's not just physical. Ensuring that you can reduce anxiety and stress but just taking 10 minutes to relax and switch off your brain can be powerful, especially as we don't take enough breaks throughout the day.
Last but not least, we can optimise our day. As peak performers, some of us do like to pack a lot into our day if you're struggling to make time for longer activities such as a long run or preparing your meal from scratch, optimising your time and taking shorter breaks to enjoy little things.
Adapting what you can do in only 10 minutes is a way for you to reclaim your time in the most effective way possible.