Now I don’t want to blow my own trumpet but if there’s one thing I’m pretty good at, it’s taking five minutes to do something nice or fun. Some might call it procrastination, some might call it time-wasting, but I think those people are missing a trick.
Just the other day, I finished work and raced to the school gate at 3.30pm in the pouring rain, picked up the seven-year-old, juggling my umbrella, her school bag and holding her hand as we walked home, then made her dinner, sat with her while she did her homework, tidied up a bit and got her swimming kit packed …. So when she sat down to eat her dinner, I took the opportunity to take five minutes off. I snuck off to my bedroom, picked up my book and read the last few pages. It felt so indulgent, but considering I was about to drive the seven-year-old to her swimming lesson, which is a bit of an endurance test thanks to the intense heat of the parents’ viewing area followed by the frenzied showering and dressing afterwards, I felt it was deserved.
And actually, whether you’re a busy parent or just a busy person, taking five minutes off can have a serious benefit to your life, and your wallet.
One of the key messages of the campaign I’m supporting – Take Five – is to stop, take five, and think when you receive any kind of communication from a bank or organisation. When we’re rushing from one thing to the next and we quickly check our emails or texts, or we answer a call on the phone, it’s very easy to assume the message or call is coming from a trusted source, when actually it could be a fraudster out to scam you out of money. So by taking five and thinking about it, then contacting the bank/organisation via a trusted method (email or phone number on their website) you could stop yourself from being scammed.
As well as reading a few pages of a book, some of my favourite ways to take five are…
Listening to five minutes of a podcast
I often do this, and iron a couple of things while I’m at it (which I know technically isn’t taking five minutes off but it feels so productive!) Current favourites are The High Low Podcast and Scummy Mummies.
Drinking a cup of tea and eating some biscuits
If ironing sounds like too much hard work, then how about having a cuppa, eating some biscuits or a big a slice of cake and listening to some silence (not always possible when you’re a parent, granted….)
Meditating with an app
I’m trying to get into using the Headspace app to inject a little calm into my life, each day. I’m still new to it, but it’s a really easy way to step back from the world and be more mindful.
Writing a friend a letter
Yes an actual letter – remember those? When I was a teenager, I wrote to so many friends, all over the country, and the thrill of getting letters back in the post was huge. Let’s bring back letter writing and take five minutes to put pen to paper.
So take five and remember the campaign motto: My money? My info? I don’t think so. For more info on the Take Five campaign, check out their website.
This post has been commissioned by Take Five and as always, all views are my own. For details of commercial posts on this site, see my Work With Me page.