- Television. The average American watches 4.3 hours of T.V. a day. A day. At a minimum, record your favorite shows and fast forward through the commercials (that’s about 15 minutes for every hour of T.V.).
- Social media. The average U.S. Facebook and Twitter user spends 42 minutes and 17 minutes respectively, on their daily fix. Here’s a little secret: It can wait. If you cut 5 minutes out of your habit, you’ll still be able to find the exact same gripes, politics and curated best-life-ever highlights from the people you haven’t (actually) spoken to since high school.
- Commuting. The average commute in the U.S. is 25 minutes. If you take public transportation, put the news and your apps down for 5. No excuses. Pop in the headphones and get into a daily practice. If I did this when I lived in New York, I could have replaced loud-talking end-of-the-world Bible guy on my daily subway ride. By the way, he was wrong for the 15 years I lived there. We can relax.
- Ditch the insomnia. Fellow vampires, I used to be on your crew. But no more. Quit lying in bed for an hour before you worry yourself to sleep. Instead, take 5 minutes and replace that non-stop crazy with some goodness to ease yourself into rest. Personally, I found that it’s way better to sleep than seethe.
- B*tching about stuff. The walking dead tend to groan. The walking stressed tend to complain. The two go hand in hand. Guess what? Mindfulness can help with that too. Imagine taking 5 minutes back from complaining about your company, your co-workers, your partner, your kids, your in-laws and your weight. Let alone complaining about people who complain too much. Bastages. C’mon… admit it. That’s 5 minutes out of one call a day with your BFF talking about the same sh*t on the daily.
- Being dazed and confused. The average person spends 47% of their time awake with the mind wandering. Says who? Harvard. By wandering, they mean thinking about the past, the future, “Is my boss out to get me?”, “Did I leave the oven on?”, sex… you name it. Everything except what’s happening right in front of you. Turns out the wandering mind is terrible for people’s health. It’s also bad for relationships, raising kids, business and getting sh*t done. We can all find 5 minutes out of 676 (approximately 47% of your day).
- The gym. You’re thinking, wait what? But that’s good for me. Planet Fitness averages 6,500 members per gym. However, most of its gyms can only accommodate 300 people. They bank on most people never actually showing up. Those who don’t cancel their gym memberships because that would be “giving up on themselves.” It’s why the gym industry has done well. It’s the timeshare most people never use. If that’s you, I estimate that you spend at least 15 minutes a month talking about the gym you never visit. Because those were my stats. Boom. You just got that back too.
About the Author
Retired Founder and CEO of Whil and former President of Headspace
Joe is an entrepreneur in the digital wellness space, retired Founder and CEO of Whil and former President of Headspace, and spent fifteen years as a global COO in public companies. He’s an alumnus of Harvard Business School and a regular contributor to Forbes, Business Insider and The Huffington Post. He’s worked in over 50 countries and travels the world speaking on topics including disruption, culture, resiliency and mindfulness.