In India, my assistant made me a daily folder with my calendar on top.
You may be familiar with what I was looking at. One big bar after another for meetings and then a tiny sliver of a break in between.
And, sometimes, the slivers weren’t even there.
Either I was rushing to or late for the next meeting or I had this odd 15-minute space to do something with.
So, most of the time, I checked my email because there was too much going on and my mind couldn’t take it.
This was neither relaxing nor inspiring. It was kind of overwhelming.
Yet, I kept doing it day after day. And, I really didn’t accomplish anything.
While now I would never be a proponent for scheduling a day like that, it’s the reality isn’t it.
So, being practical, why not make those 15-minutes inspiring.
Given you may be in one of those spaces right now, I’ll be brief.
7 Ways to Inspire Your 15-Minute Spaces
1. Contemplate a thought-provoking verse
Keep an uplifting book on your desk. Maybe it’s about how to communicate well, leadership, high performance, creativity, travel. Flip the pages and read the one you land on. Then, connect a key thought to how it can support your goals today.
2. Ask yourself what’s the 1 thing
If you haven’t got The One Thing, please go out and buy it. It’s a great book that prompts you to get to the heart of what you’re doing. To take an excerpt from it, ask yourself.
What is the one thing you could do right now that would make everything else in your day easier and/or unnecessary?
3. Visualize your next meeting going well
Be really prepared. Rehearse the whole thing before you enter the door. This literally could take a single minute. You may find new information that will make the whole experience more productive and enjoyable. Let yourself be surprised.
4. Closely observe a team member
Walk on the floor and pick out someone on your team. Take a look at their workspace. Notice the details. See how they’re sitting there. What’s going on in their face? Then, imagine you are now that person sitting at the workspace. How does it feel? What are you hearing? What are you saying to yourself?
Then, step out and think a few small ways you could support this person better.
5. Daydream about your bigger picture
Close your eyes and connect the dots. See how this moment now is tying into your bigger life picture. How do they link up? And, then, think. What’s the next doable step to making them better align?
6. Make a mind map to tease out an issue
Is there an issue consuming your mind?
Great! Get it out. Put together a small mind map with the issue in the middle. Start adding branches with key thoughts that come to mind. It doesn’t have to make sense. Just go with it. Do it for a couple minutes. Stand back and assess. From that, decide one tiny action you could take to move the issue towards a solution.
7. Meditate on patience
Going into back-to-back meetings can wear on your patience. You may feel a little irritated, frustrated, or even slightly annoyed.
Again, great! Take this opportunity to do a contemplative meditation on patience. Close your eyes. Remember what it feels like when impatience arises. Then, switch to situations where you were patient. Imagine that patience flowing out into your day.
These 15-minutes spaces are valuable real estate. And, if you really want to get crazy, use one to figure out how not to be in this situation in the first place. You can make your schedule whatever you want it to be. And, inspiring yourself will make your mind lighter and your energy more positive.
I encourage you to try one out one today to mix up your thinking. See how it feels.
Have fun and you can share the list with a friend or a colleague. Have them play the same game.
And, let me know what you picked and how it affected your mindset. You can write me back here or comment on the blog.
Enjoy your space.