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Changing Your Life with One-Minute Tasks

By Amy Newmark April 23, 2023 Lifestyle

Let’s talk about minutes. We live one minute at a time. We waste lots of those minutes. But you can change your life with those little bits of time. They can be very useful. You just have to dive in and use them.

Let me first acknowledge that I am that person – the procrastinator, the one who hates to hang up her clothing at the end of the day, the one who leaves that thing in the car for two weeks because it’s a pain to open the liftgate and get it out.

I’ve fought that tendency my whole life – the tendency to put off those little tasks. But those little tasks weigh you down. You end up spending more seconds thinking about them, seeing them out of the corner of your eye, telling someone “no, I haven’t done that yet,” than if you just did them!

One-Minute Miracles

It’s amazing how many things you don’t want to do that take only one minute! Here are some things I’ve discovered I can do in one minute, and I’m passing them on to you:


You can do that stretch that you know you’re supposed to do after you exercise, the one you never have time for. I have to say that when you’re doing that stretch – the one you’ve been avoiding – you’ll be amazed by how long that one minute lasts. You will definitely feel virtuous afterwards.


You can empty one whole rack of the dishwasher. And then you can take a second minute to do the other rack… Or you can keep pretending the dishwasher hasn’t been run and hope that someone else will empty it.

Fridge Time

You can clean out the vegetable drawer and throw away all that rotten produce that you bought two weeks ago when you were really truly going to make some salads and some healthy dinners with fruits and vegetables covering half the plate.


You can put away that suitcase that has been sitting out there for weeks – or months. I bet it will only take half a minute to put it away.

Empty Car

You can get that thing out of the car that you keep leaving there. Or put your new insurance card – the one that’s been sitting on the kitchen counter waiting to get lost – in the glove compartment.

Put Clothes Away

You can put away the clothes that you wore for the last three days. Somehow it seems like such a burden to hang them up at the end of the day, but it takes only seconds to take a sweater to the closet, put it on a hanger, and get it back where it belongs.

How to Get Things Done

So set the timer on your phone. If you don’t know how to do that, take one minute and find out how! Just Google it: How do I set the timer on my iPhone, Android, Samsung, or whatever you have.

Or come up with your own trick, your own way of convincing yourself to do those little one-minute tasks.

This way you get rid of all the little things that are getting in the way of doing the big things. It’s amazing how much those little tasks can hang over you. You spend way more time thinking about the fact that you have to do them than you would if you just took a minute here and there and put them to rest.

Add a Little “Me Time” to the Mix

You can also entertain yourself while you do those one-minute tasks – for example, you could carry your cell phone or your iPad around with you and listen to a podcast or an audiobook while you’re performing your one-minute miracles.

How to Get Started

Make a list of the little tasks you’ve been avoiding.

Set your phone timer for one minute and do one of those tasks.

Feel the relief!

Now create a mental list of the one-minute miracles you can pull off.

Feel lighter – and proud of yourself!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you keep putting off little, annoying tasks? Do they hang over you as a result? After you try it, what one-minute task did you accomplish? Don’t you feel better? Share your own tricks for getting things done.

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Kathy Mulherin

It takes less time to put things away while they are in your hand. Don’t touch things twice.


I bet so many of us have the same list! Several on yours are on mine! Thanks.


When I put a potato into the microwave to bake for 8 minutes, I try to wash whatever dishes are in the sink (no dishwasher) and whatever other kitchen tasks I can accomplish in those 8 minutes.

Deborah Pegues

Great article! Thanks.


Remember a friend doing 10 minutes in the morning of routine things….while she got her coffee brewing. It adds up each day, I try and do same….otherwise it gets overwhelming especially if you have a house. Good article! Thank you.

The Author

Amy Newmark is the author, editor-in-chief, and publisher of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, a second career she began at 50 after decades on Wall Street and in technology industry. Most importantly, she’s a wife, mother of four, and grandmother of three… so far. Connect with Amy at

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