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5 Things To Do in 5 Spare Minutes

5 Things To Do in 5 Spare Minutes

A character in my favorite book once complained that people waste too many small time slots while waiting in line at a store, waiting for a bus to arrive, etc. He suggested that these time slots should be somehow ‘banked’ away, and then claimed back. That would be so handy! We don’t have that luxury widely available yet, though.

Here are 5 things to do in 5 spare minutes that you might encounter during your day:

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1. Call a friend or a relative

Is your bus running late? Have you called your grandmom this week? Now is a great time to pick up your phone and make that phone call.

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2. Snap some photos

Is your bus running late? Snap some photos of objects/streets/stores around you. Can’t see anything conventionally ‘beautiful’? Pay closer attention. Anything can be interpreted in a creative way.

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3. Do some exercise for your eyes

Digital screens tire our eyes out very quickly. Try a simple set of exercise for your eyes to ease the fatigue: look up and down, left to right, ‘draw’ diagonals and circles with your eyes, and then look far away. Repeat as often as needed.

4. Exercise!

Tabata intervals work great for that. Tabata training is a four-minute mini-workout that consists of 20-second intervals of exercising and 10-second rests. Here’s my favorite combo: Jumping jacks, push-ups, high knees, squats! Listen to your favorite song while doing that to make things more fun… or, you know, you can always just dance intensively to that song.

5. Have a silent conversation with yourself

We talk to others, we ask for people’s opinions, we make meaningless small talks every day. It is easy to forget to pay attention to your own feelings and ideas. Next time you have 5 minutes, ask yourself what mood you are in, is anything bothering you, or just ‘discuss’ a creative idea!

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Mariya Boyko

Mathematics teacher, curriculum developer

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

If I was a super hero I’d want my super power to be the ability to motivate everyone around me. Think of how many problems you could solve just by being able to motivate people towards their goals. You wouldn’t be frustrated by lazy co-workers. You wouldn’t be mad at your partner for wasting the weekend in front of the TV. Also, the more people around you are motivated toward their dreams, the more you can capitalize off their successes.

Being able to motivate people is key to your success at work, at home, and in the future because no one can achieve anything alone. We all need the help of others.

So, how to motivate people? Here are 7 ways to motivate others even you can do.

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1. Listen

Most people start out trying to motivate someone by giving them a lengthy speech, but this rarely works because motivation has to start inside others. The best way to motivate others is to start by listening to what they want to do. Find out what the person’s goals and dreams are. If it’s something you want to encourage, then continue through these steps.

2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are the best way to figure out what someone’s dreams are. If you can’t think of anything to ask, start with, “What have you always wanted to do?”

“Why do you want to do that?”

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“What makes you so excited about it?”

“How long has that been your dream?”

You need this information the help you with the following steps.

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3. Encourage

This is the most important step, because starting a dream is scary. People are so scared they will fail or look stupid, many never try to reach their goals, so this is where you come in. You must encourage them. Say things like, “I think you will be great at that.” Better yet, say, “I think your skills in X will help you succeed.” For example if you have a friend who wants to own a pet store, say, “You are so great with animals, I think you will be excellent at running a pet store.”

4. Ask About What the First Step Will Be

After you’ve encouraged them, find how they will start. If they don’t know, you can make suggestions, but it’s better to let the person figure out the first step themselves so they can be committed to the process.

5. Dream

This is the most fun step, because you can dream about success. Say things like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if your business took off, and you didn’t have to work at that job you hate?” By allowing others to dream, you solidify the motivation in place and connect their dreams to a future reality.

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6. Ask How You Can Help

Most of the time, others won’t need anything from you, but it’s always good to offer. Just letting the person know you’re there will help motivate them to start. And, who knows, maybe your skills can help.

7. Follow Up

Periodically, over the course of the next year, ask them how their goal is going. This way you can find out what progress has been made. You may need to do the seven steps again, or they may need motivation in another area of their life.

Final Thoughts

By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to encourage the people around you to achieve their dreams and goals. In return, you’ll be more passionate about getting to your goals, you’ll be surrounded by successful people, and others will want to help you reach your dreams …

Oh, and you’ll become a motivational super hero. Time to get a cape!

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Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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