There are only 168 hours in a week. And more often than not, it feels like a whole lot less.
Between a 40-hour work week and eight hours of sleep a night (in a perfect world), you’ve got about 70 hours left. Now work in all your other commitments. You know, there’s time with family and friends, a few solid workout sessions and a little you time. Oh, and don’t forget the extra stuff: commuting, showering, cooking and chores, just to name a few.
Suddenly, it seems like you’ll need at least 200 hours in a week just to get everything done.
That’s why we’ve rounded up 5 of our favorite ways to make your life better in just a minute a day. Even if you do all these things every day, you’ll still have plenty of time for everything else.
1. The One-Minute Workout
Years ago, researchers claimed humans could benefit from a seven-minute, 12-exercise workout. This theory comes from the school of thought that short bursts of working out hard is super-effective.
Now, imagine that you took those seven minutes and spread out over a week. That’s right. Researchers have now found evidence of a one-minute workout being quite effective, according to the New York Times.
Researchers had participants complete two different kinds of workouts. One group of participants worked out at a high intensity for three 20-second periods with recovery speeds in between. Another group worked out for longer periods of time at a moderate intensity.
At the end of the study, both groups showed similar benefits.
Admittedly, relying on one-minute workouts means some very intense minutes. But considering all the physical and psychological benefits of a good workout, you just might be able to find time for this one.
2. The One-Minute Meditation
Do you picture meditation as an endurance sport? It’s not unusual to imagine people sitting in uncomfortable positions for a long time.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Deepak Chopra, the best-selling author and an expert on the mind-body connection, says that you can meditate in a single minute.
When you’re feeling stressed, he says, simply sit down. Close your eyes. Count your breath 15 times. If you’re somewhere where you can’t close your eyes, don’t worry. You can keep them open.
Your ultimate goal: Cut down to counting a single breath. That way, whenever you’re feeling stressed, you can calm yourself almost instantly.
Need more persuading? Discover how just a minute of meditation can help you in your life. Is it worth a minute to feel more relaxed and tune into your intuition? Sounds like a pretty good deal to us.
3. The One-Minute Insomnia Trick
In a world filled with lights, noise and computer screens, it can be difficult to power down and fall asleep at night.
For media maven Arianna Huffington, a realization about the crucial importance of sleep in her own life inspired her to write The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time.
But you don’t have to sustain an injury brought about by sleep deprivation like Arianna Huffington to appreciate the importance of a good night’s sleep.
Instead, take a minute tonight to try the 4-7-8 method, coined by Dr. Andrew Weil. According to the Telegraph, the method uses a specific breathing technique to help lull you into drowsiness.
Breathe in through your nose and then force the air out of your mouth while making a whoosh sound. To apply the 4-7-8 approach, breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and breathe out for eight seconds. Repeat this four times, he says in a video explanation on his YouTube channel that’s been viewed nearly 2.5 million times.
4. The One-Minute Health Upgrade
If you’re anything like me, your dentist scolds you at each appointment you for not flossing your teeth. Then again, if you’re really like me, you don’t change your habits once you step out of their office.
It’s too bad, because regular flossing may actually be linked to improved longevity. It’s something we should all be making time for!
Fortunately, Dr. Carlos Meulener has the answer: a one-minute flossing method. He demonstrates this efficient approach, including how to make the process faster.
His quick-flossing method seems to have a lot of fans. But the most important one is you: This is an easy one-minute win with a big potential payoff.
5. The One-Minute Procrastination Quick Fix
Take a minute a day to choose your frog.
No, not like a princess looking for a frog to turn into a prince. In this case, your frog is the most dreaded (but probably also most important) task on any given day.
The author of Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy, traces the concept back to a Mark Twain quote on his blog: “If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”
(Quote Investigator contends it came from French writer Nicolas Chamfort, and was only later attributed to Twain.)
Regardless, the concept behind eating your frog is simple: at the start of your workday, take one minute to determine what the day’s frog is. Then tackle that dreaded task first.
By constantly starting with the task that looms largest over your day, Tracy swears you’ll become much more productive. Not only will you get it done, but you’ll feel liberated and refreshed — and better able to focus on the rest of your work.
Got a minute?
With these five one-minute tricks in your toolkit, you can chip away each day at some of the most important things in your life.
If you’ve got just five minutes a day, these short practices can help you reap an array of benefits: With tons of time left over, you can get more exercise, experience moments of calm, get more sleep, improve your health, and be more productive.
So — what are you waiting for?