How to Waste 5 Minutes Like a Pro – And Feel Good Doing It!

Written by Domantas Vanagas

November 9, 2021

Have you ever found five minutes to spare and no clue what to do with them? I don’t find pockets of time like this, but I usually spend the time staring blankly at the wall when I do. 

Maybe you need a study or work break but don’t know what to do to give your mind that break. Or maybe you’re just stuck in the waiting room at the doctor’s office and trying to find a way to fight the boredom.

The bottom line is that you’ve got a few minutes to spare and need something to fill it. We’ve got you covered with the following tips on how to waste 5 minutes:


1. Make a List

Most people automatically think this means a to-do list, but there are plenty of lists you can make. You can spend time writing a list of:

  • Items you need to start your new hobby.
  • Every place you want to visit in your lifetime.
  • All the books you’d like to read this year.
  • Features your dream home would have.
  • Ideas for the book you want to write, a product you’d like to create, or a business you want to start.
  • Stuff you miss from childhood.
  • All activities you’d like to do with your family this summer.
  • Your favorite foods.
  • Everything you dislike about your life.
  • Thoughts on how you can create more time in your life?
  • And yes, you can write a to-do list of things you need to complete. Maybe you need a task list of everything you need to pack and do for vacation, the holidays, or spring cleaning. 

You can also take the time to break a large project into smaller tasks. Or you can even list everything you want to do when you finally have free time. These lists could come in handy the next time you find yourself with a few minutes to spare.


2. Clean Out Your Email

I have to admit that this one would take me at least a full day. Hopefully, the same isn’t true for you. Still, working to answer or process emails for five-minute chunks can not only make a difference to your inbox. It can also easily waste time.


3. Check-In With Friends and Family Members

It’s always nice to hear from someone you care about, especially at some point in the day. It lets you know that they’re thinking about you. When you have a moment to spare, you can provide that feeling to your loved ones.

Facebook has made it easy to stay in contact, but it can also be impersonal. When was the last time you called your mom? Or made a lunch date with your best friend? Have you talked to your spouse or kids since you had to rush out the door to work this morning? Please pick up your phone and call one of them now.


4. Mobile Games

To this day, millions of people still play Candy Crush for hours every day. Though the game already has thousands of levels, the company continually creates more.

Why do people love it so much? It’s fun and easy to get sucked in, making it a great way for anyone to waste time. And thousands of other mobile games are available when you run out of Candy Crush lives. We have prepared some time management facts and stats; I think it will be interesting for you!


5. Read

Reading is also a good pastime; it grows easier as technology improves. At one point, you had to take a trip to the library or bookstore to put a book in your hands.

Now, there are millions of books available online. And if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read as many books as you want each month. You can also check out your favorite blog or an article from your favorite website.


6. Check the News

There is always something going on in the world, and the Internet can help you stay informed. If you like to stay up to date, you can spend your break reading national or international news sites. Fair warning: If you get easily rattled by sad and horrific things, this is probably not a good method for wasting time.

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7. Waste Your 5 Minutes by Surfing the ‘Net

The truth is that if you have an Internet connection, you are good to go, no matter how much time you waste. There are plenty of things to look at, read, and learn.

Memes, for example, can distract you for as long as you need. They are funny and relatable and can give you a lighthearted break.


8. Scout Out Your Dream Vacation Destination

Are you hoping to go to Paris or Hawaii soon? A trip around the world? Or maybe a quiet cabin in the mountains is more your speed. Regardless of your ideal getaway, you can use five minutes to look up the destination. This can help keep you motivated, help you plan, and let you get lost in your dream for a few minutes.

Take it a step further: Go ahead and schedule your vacation. Use your spare time to make reservations or request time off.


9. Exercise

You don’t have to get hot and sweaty, which would not be good if you’re taking a break at work. Just take a walk around your office or your neighborhood. Or do some stretches to help loosen the tension in your neck, shoulders, and back.

You can fit a pretty good workout in if you don’t mind getting a little sweaty. You could do 20 jumping jacks, some sit-ups, and some lunges to get your heart pumping and your muscles burning.


10. YouTube

YouTube is an incredible resource for many things, from education to entertainment. Watch movie previews, your favorite Internet star’s antics, or adorable cat or dog videos.

And if you need to relieve some stress, let me share my “secret weapon.” There are two YouTube videos that you might have seen. One is of a lady continually slipping on ice, and the other is a lady having trouble with an exercise machine.

The visual content is humorous, but the laughter is infectious. It’s hard to walk away without feeling destressed and refreshed. Enjoy and beware of the strange looks you’ll get if you burst out laughing, too.


11. Social Media

Social media is another great way to waste time, and there are plenty of platforms to do it on.

You could waste an entire day with this tip. But just because you can, don’t do it… You can:

  • Scroll through your Facebook home feed to see how all your friends and family are wasting time.
  • Pin every recipe and craft project you’d like to try on Pinterest.
  • Share a clever quote with your Twitter followers.
  • Play with Snapchat filters (I know people who can do this for hours).
  • Check out your favorite celebrity’s Instagram feed.


12. Journal

Have something on your mind? Maybe you and a friend got into an argument, your professor gave you an assignment with an unrealistic timeline, or your boss gave you a business project you have no clue how to manage.

Putting your thoughts on paper for these or any other issues is a healthy way to spend five minutes. After you have gotten out the emotion you feel, you can think of a logical way to approach the issue. And you don’t carry that negative energy for the rest of the day.



Free time is a precious commodity for everyone, from business owners to stay-at-home parents. Finding little pockets of time is a gift we should fully appreciate, but we do not have to fill it with productive tasks. Instead, use these ideas to enjoy the time you are given or use them to spur your creativity.

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