Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) Things to do with a Few Extra Minutes

My conference call ended 5 minutes early.  A neighbor called to say that she’ll pick my son up from baseball practice.  The casserole is in the oven a bit earlier than I’d planned.  Each one of these situations has freed me for the next few minutes – I have precious unexpected downtime.  From my earlier post this week, my son’s prioirty list caused me to think about visible reminders. Granted some of it is in the giddyness of realizing that I’m finally getting through to him!  But what do we do and how do we prioritize when we find an unanticipated few minutes?  Here’s my short list that you can modify, add to, or delete.



1.  Breath – Breathing is a vital process which starts at birth and ends at the death. Breath deeply into your belly just for a moment because it’s likely that you haven’t all day.  If you know a yogi or a practitioner, try a pranayama.

2.  Say a prayer Regardless of your faith tradition, taking a few moments to be still, to be thankful or to ask for blessings for another is a worthwhile activity.

3. Drink a glass of water – The most recent thinking that I have seen suggests that you divide your body weight (in lbs.) by two and drink at least that many ounces of water each day.

4. Floss – Healthy teeth create an environment where your heart can stay healthier. Keep floss in your desk, your car, wherever you might have a moment.

5. Go for a walk – The research around exercise is well publicized but what’s not as well known are the positive effects of spending time in nature – and you can catch up on your vitamin D.

6. Call your grandmother – This will make her happy and you’ll feel better because of it (even if the conversation takes more than the few minutes that you have available).

7. Read a storybook to a kid – Reading to our children is one of the single greatest ways to influence their own success as readers.

8. Write a poem on a postcard and mail it to a friend – For a period of 100 days,Ted Kooser, former United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress took an early morning walk, composed a poem inspired by his walk and sent it on a postcard to his friend, Jim Harrison.  It’s called Winter Morning Walks.

9. Stretch – By deliberately elongating our skeletal muscles, we can improve felt elasticity and improve muscle tone – and it feels good.

10. Plan a meal – Plan it out top to bottom using the produce in your CSA delivery or make a shopping list and hit your local farmer’s market.  Share the meal with your family or friends or enjoy the solitude.

Leave a comment


  1. Sally Mom

     /  March 3, 2010

    Absolutely lovely. Again you delight me. The process of breathing out and breathing in, while doing a mantra, a prayer, is sohum. Breathing in is so and breathing out is hum. It is good at all times to reflect on this life force and especially as you say, giving a prayer out for others or this earth.
    I look forward to and appreciate your wisdom .
    Thank you again

    A poem by Hafiz

    A poet is someone
    Who can pour light into a spoon,
    then raise it to Nourish
    Your beautiful parched, holy mouth.

    You bring that light, Tammy.

  2. Lovely poem Sally – thanks for sharing and for reading my blog.

  3. What a wonderful list! Number 8 especially resonates with me.

    And I love Hafiz’s poetry. I speak Farsi, and his poetry can be very difficult to understand in the native language, but when you do– oh, they are just beautiful.

  4. Barbara Miller-Collins

     /  March 3, 2010

    Hi Tammy,

    I have one question for you.

    Did you read my mind while writing that? Your ten things are what I have learned through experience and needed to be reminded of. Lovely blog!


  5. Claudia Wilson

     /  March 4, 2010

    Love your site! Hope all is well with you and your family. We’ll miss not being in Steamboat, and Brent may show up anyway. The pressure is on from everyoone!

    Take care and keep blogging…
    Claudia Wilson

    • Thanks for looking Claudia and I hope you’ll be back. Yes, we are really going to miss you – maybe summer?

  6. ozarkhomesteader

     /  March 4, 2010

    I know I should be doing #1 (breathing) naturally, but I’m afraid when I’m rushed that I hold my breath a lot! Thanks for the reminder.

  7. lauralouise90

     /  March 17, 2010

    Lovely blog Tammy.
    I think we all take forgranted those precious few minutes we have to ourselves.
    We all forget to breathe and relax. I ring my nan every few days and there’s nothing better than having a good chin wag with her; she always knows how to cheer me up.

    Gorgeous poem Sally Mom

  8. Hi Tammy,

    Excellent Post. The breathing technique reminds me of my father in law. He is a yoga teacher and he constantly advices us the benefits of breathing. I liked reading your post. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for stopping by and reading the list Amutha. I think it’s important for busy working moms to have those little lists handy.

  9. breath, stretch, and be thankful – i think one minute of this out of ever hour could change the very color of the world. great post! thanks for reading and commenting!


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