Five Minutes
Five Minutes
If you have five minutes to kill at work, there are a handful of things you can do to make them very productive.

Every five minutes, a Millennial is forced to settle.

A recent report from McKinsey On Society found that, in 2012, more than 120,000 young people took positions they didn’t want.

ThinkProgress did the math and, sadly, found that number equates to one young professional every five minutes.

The brutal details:

  • 48 percent of college graduates took a job that required less than a four-year degree.
  • Four to five times as many graduates are working in the retail and restaurant industries than would prefer to.

Apparently, all it takes is five minutes to send us in the wrong direction. The upside is that five minutes can also provide a big lift. So here are 6 Smart Ways to Spend 5 Minutes on the Job.

1. Make any important emails ‘Primary’ in Gmail

If a particular email goes to a tab like ‘Social’ when you really want it in ‘Primary,’ simply drag the email to the correct tab. Gmail will then ask if you want all future emails from that sender to come to ‘Primary.’ From now on, your emails will go to the right place.

For more tips to navigate the new (and slightly annoying) Gmail, check out this guide from Lifehacker.

2. Update current job details on LinkedIn

When is the last time you refreshed your list of duties/accomplishments? Take five minutes and see if you should reset your job description. And when you do, remember to include targeted keywords that highlight specific skills. Careerealism notes employers often use search terms to find people.

3. Write a short note on a handful of your business cards

Take out a stack of business cards and write a quick note on each one. It could be an additional Web site, phone number or short sales pitch. You could even just circle the phone number you want others to use. People find cards with actual handwriting more valuable and may hesitate to toss them out.

4. Visit Mobilegear

Do you work from pretty much anywhere? Starbucks, your couch, your desk… wherever you go, that’s your office. Visit Mobilegear for nearly 4,000 smart mobile office and technology accessory products.

I use a memory foam wrist pad along with my mouse that I got on It’s like a pillow for my lower arm. The company’s selection and quality are top-notch so go find something to make your workday easier.

5. Watch this TED video about setting goals

Derek Sivers quickly explains why you should never tell anyone your goals because it could keep you from reaching them at all.

6. Words you always have to look up

Ragan Communications assembled a list of words we can never remember to spell correctly. ‘Separate’ — that’s a tricky one.


Well, I realize this entire list would take you 30 minutes to accomplish and not five. If you work quickly, maybe you can get it done in 20-25.

OK, I’ll stop writing and let you get to work… right after I ask…

Do you agree with Derek Sivers’ talk on setting goals? Comment below!

(This content was originally posted at NewsToLiveBy. Visit NewsToLiveBy to receive the first two chapters of Danny’s book, “25 Things Every Young Professional Should Know by Age 25,” for free!)

About Danny Rubin

Danny Rubin is a media strategist and the managing editor of News To Live By™, a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons "hidden" in the day's top stories. A former TV reporter, he's always looking for ways to apply the news to our own lives. Follow him at @NewsToLiveBy.



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