I’m not sure if you were watching the Man U-Spurs game at the weekend, but if you were – you’ll know that Sir Alex Ferguson was not happy about the referee only allocating 4 minutes of stoppage time.
He called it an “insult to the game” We say – four minutes is long enough to get some very useful things done:
Clear your desk – so that you have a clear space to work in.
Talk – don’t email: Whilst the kettle is being boiled or the coffee made, use this time to have quick conversations in reply to some of those emails. Do a quick scan of your email inbox, picking out two or three potential targets. Then, your goal is to hunt them down between now and when you sit back down with your hot beverage. Make it a game!
Mini-meditation – pick up a pen and paper and writing whatever comes into your head. You may write whatever and however you like – and you may decide to shred the piece of paper in a few minutes. The act of externalising the nags – getting them out of your mind and onto the paper where they can be managed more objectively – can in itself be extremely meditative.
Backup your diary: if you use a paper diary, use a phone camera or photocopier to make backups you need –just in case.
Go outside: A four-minute blast of fresh air is infinitely more effective than ten minutes screwing about on the internet with your work still open in the background.