Whether you’ve got a few minutes or a few hours, it’s always good to cross simple tasks off your ever-growing to-do list. Whether you want to send a quick note to that friend you haven’t talked to in ages, or finally clean out the dreaded junk drawer—now’s as good a time as any to get it started. Here are 50 simple things you can do in five minutes or less.
1. Write a letter to a family member.
2. Breathe deeply. Seriously. For five whole minutes. There’s even an app for that.
3. Do 15 pushups or 30 lunges. Feel the burn!
4. Update the to-do list. Don’t have one? Well, take five minutes and make one.
5. Put on your power jam and dance (That's 30 calories for five minutes of dancing!)!
6. Clean out the junk drawer (and don't be afraid to throw stuff away).
7. Enjoy a cup of coffee.
8. Read a book to an eager listener.
9. Go through the stack of schoolwork on the desk. Keep the best and ditch the rest.
10. Play with your dog or cat. It relieves stress—and your pet loves you for it!
11. Ask your kids one of these 29 great questions and start a video journal (20 years from now, you'll be glad you did!).
12. Write two non-work related emails.
13. Delete apps you rarely use. No really, you won’t use those apps.
14. Add a new phone number or address to your contacts list. How nice to have it all in one place!
15. Go through that stack of business cards, toss the ones you don’t need.
16. Make the bed. You’ll feel like a real grownup.
17. Teach your kids how to make their beds. They can help out, too (or at least, try).
18. Floss your teeth. You know those pearly whites need a polish.
19. Donate to a good cause (this New York Times article has some good recommendations).
20. Write two thank you notes. How long has it been since the birthday party?
21. Drink a glass of water.
22. Clean the bathroom mirror.
23. Pay a bill online.
24. Play a quick round of "Freeze Dance" with your kids. You'll elevate the mood instantly! (Got an Alexa? Just say, "Alexa, play Freeze Dance.")
25. Set up a virtual game room with some friends. Make a date to play trivia or another game sometime soon.
26. Do this easy five minute mindful meditation to find some calm.
27. Put pen to paper and jot down a few notes. You’ll be amazed at what you have to say.
28. Clean our your kids' school backpacks.
29. Plan out an awesome family dinner. (Cooking time not included!)
30. Play Rose and Thorn. Everyone shares a good and bad thing about the day.
31. Go through the Tupperware drawer and toss containers without lids. Trust us, those lids are long gone.
32. Clean out your diaper bag.
33. Clean out all those purses that have been smushed in the back of the closet since you last used them.
34. Delete unread (at least 14 days) emails. You are NEVER going to read them.
35. Vacuum one room.
36. Dust one shelf.
37. Paint your nails (or take off that chipping polish). If you haven’t heard of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polish, find out today!
38. Empty the dishwasher.
39. Ride a rollercoaster (virtually!)
40. Go hug your kids. Like, right now.
41. Throw in a load of laundry.
42. Stretch. When was the last time you really looked at your toes?
43. Take a walk around the block (with or without the kids/dog)
44. Email or call your kid’s teacher to say thank you.
45. Remove one item of clothing from your closet. You won’t ever wear that grungy flannel again, we promise.
46. Test all the pens in the desk drawer and throw out any that don't work.
47. Unsubscribe from any newsletters that aren't helping you achieve your goals using unroll.me.
48. Look through your Downloads folder and file or delete any files you can.
49. Sign up for a free online class and learn a new skill or build toward a new career!
50. Find a video that makes you laugh. (We love "Kid Theater" from Jimmy Fallon!). Laughter releases endorphins and makes you happier. Win-win!
—Melissa Heckscher with Gabby Cullen
Featured photo: iStock