5 Minutes or Less


Do you know how many things could be done around our house that take 5 minutes or less?

Here’s a quick list of some things around my house:

  • Dust the return air vent that’s all dusty and gross
  • Wipe down any sink
  • Throw those blankets at the bottom of the basement stairs into the wash
  • Wipe the kitchen countertops
  • Take the recycling out
  • Pick up 5 things in the living room and either get rid of them or put them where they belong

I could go on, but you get my drift.

Each of these things takes 5 minutes or less. By investing 30 minutes of my day to these tasks, I could make a big difference in the way my home looks and how I feel about it.

But you know what we do instead?

We look at it, say, “Hmmm….I just get to that.”, and just go on with our day, wasting time on Facebook or Pinterest.

Why do we do that?

I notice the same thing with my husband, who also has ADHD.

He will get a project 90-95% done and then just ignore the rest. It doesn’t interest him anymore.

  • There is a can of primer and a paint stick that have been on the stairs for probably a month or more.
  • He finished our wood floors about 3 years ago and re-did all but the last 3 steps on the stairs.
  • Refinishing the basement started about a year ago. He painted it – twice – and put in the furniture. Lighting, ceiling, floors? Nope, nope, nope.

So what’s up with that?

I think part of it is a lack of interest. After all, how interesting is it to dust something?

And somehow, part of it is because it takes such a small amount of time that we think our time would be better spent on something bigger even though we’re not likely to start another, bigger project.

Why don’t we clean up our messes as soon as we see them, and finish our projects all the way through?

I’m not sure I know.

What I do know, though, is that realizing that something that’s been bugging you can be fixed in just a few minutes at most, can turn our lives around in small but significant ways.

A teeny change = a big change over time.

Are you ready?

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About Brenda Nicholson

I am an ADHD Expert, Coach, and Consultant. I want you to learn how to celebrate your life with ADHD too.


  1. I totally agree with taking time to do small things that you can get done in 5 minutes or less. It makes you feel better, and it helps you keep a clearer mind. I use to never make my bed growing up, because being ADHD the kind of focus it took to do it could exhaust me. But now I tell myself, it’ll only take a maximum of 5 minutes. And with that positive self-talk, I can get it done every morning (well, nearly every morning). Thank you for sharing!

  2. I so appreciate your article. Hearing you lay out those suggestions for 5 minute chores gives me guidelines to start with and isn’t that another big impediment to getting quick things done for those of us with ADD, “Where do I start?” Thanks for being here and writing. I know I’m not alone and there’s hope for change!

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