By Gary Weiner @ Super Saving Tips
Ten minutes isn’t really a very long time. It’s less time than it takes to play a quarter in a pro football game. You can listen to 2½ songs on the radio in 10 minutes. It’s even less time than it takes you to read your daily e-mails. In other words, it’s just a few minutes, but oh how great it is to have such an opportunity to increase your productivity, save money, build relationships, and move forward in that brief time period.
If you try some of these ideas, I think you’ll agree that these 10 minutes could wind up being the most productive 10 minutes of the day, starting today!
Do 1 thing on your “to do” list right now
Your list is on your desk somewhere, and you’ve been meaning to get started, haven’t you? Is there any better time to start than right now? Better yet, pick the thing you most dislike from your list (you know, the one you keep putting off). Getting it over and done with will help you move on to better things.
Clean up and organize the top of your desk
You have always realized how your desk makes you look and feel so disorganized, and how many times have you looked for something and couldn’t find it? Now is the time you can return to the land of the orderly and look as if you have total control of such a mundane task.
Pick 1 monthly expense to reduce or eliminate
So you’ve tracked your expenses and put together a budget, but you can still cut back some more to fund that debt repayment/retirement savings/emergency fund/special goal. Take a few minutes to prepare a homemade lunch to bring to work, call to negotiate your monthly rate with a service provider, or cancel your magazine subscription now that you’re planning to swing by the library and read it for free. Every time you save on another expense, you’ll feel a new sense of accomplishment.
Craft a money-saving grocery list
Scan the weekly ad from your local supermarket to find the real bargains and make notes on your shopping list. Buy in bulk when it makes sense and add in coupons and discounts for spectacular savings.
Plan your financial goals for the next month, year, and 5 years
Goals may change over time, but it helps to look at the big picture to get an idea of what you’re working towards. Break your goals down into manageable steps, and post them in your workspace, on your fridge, or wherever you’ll see them for a constant reminder of your focus.
Start a savings jar at home for your small change and $1 bills
Each day, add them to the pot and you’ll be shocked at how quickly it will add up! Tuck it away into savings and use it for one of your smaller goals that you’ve been hoping to accomplish.
Check your credit score and credit report
Using sites like annualcreditreport.com, creditkarma.com, my.bankrate.com or even benefits from one of your credit cards, you can get your free credit information so that you will be up-to-date on it. Correct any errors you may find and if your score is low, take steps to improve it.
Post an ad to sell some unwanted items
Declutter your home while you earn some extra money to add to your savings or use for a special evening out with a friend.
Call your Mom and Dad
Tell them that you love them for absolutely no reason at all. It will mean the world to them.
Make a new “to do” list that reflects new priorities
Make sure you plan to spend your time on what’s truly important.
Set up an impromptu 10-minute meeting with your boss
Keep it short and to the point to find out how you’re progressing and use the feedback to make a bigger, better impression. If you’re self-employed, meet with your most important client.
Take a colleague you want to know better out to lunch
Spend 10 minutes making it clear how much you want to work with him or her and network away.
Review your résumé with a trusted friend for feedback
Having someone else’s eyes look it over will pinpoint ways to improve it. And don’t forget your LinkedIn profile while you’re at it.
Send a happy e-mail to a friend or relative
Do it on a break and you’ll be glad you got around to such a simple and forgotten item. Bonus points if it’s a handwritten note instead.
Take 10 minutes to relax, center, and re-energize. It will make you more productive and less stressed.
Call or meet with the most successful person you know
Pick their brain! Every successful person loves to tell you how they did it and how you can, too.
Put together a bag of old clothes to donate to a worthy charity
Help the charity, clean your closets, and get a tax deduction at the same time.
Finish a home task this weekend
Getting it done and crossing it off your list will give you a sense of accomplishment, and will make your home a nicer place to be.
Prepare a weekly healthy meal plan
Do it now and stick to it. Try and use what you have in your pantry first. After that, check what’s on sales at the supermarket this week. Make something new, delicious, and good for you.
It’s always a good idea to break things down into manageable segments and taking the 10-minute approach is just one way to do it. Don’t have a spare 10 minutes? Then set your morning alarm just a few minutes earlier and you’ll get a jump on the day.
Do you have any other 10-minute ideas that can change your world?
Image courtesy of winnond at freedigitalphotos.net (with changes)
About Gary Weiner @ Super Saving Tips
Over the last 45 years I've worked in retail (department stores and supermarkets) and financial planning. In addition, I am a shopper, born and bred, who enjoys the challenges of finding the best items for the best prices. When I'm not busy saving money or blogging over at Super Saving Tips, I enjoy baseball, music, and classic movies. I am retired and live in New Jersey with my wife.