When people think about traveling to the past, they worry about accidentally changing the present, but no one in the present really thinks they can radically change the future.


Is your house, car, or life a mess? If so, the idea of cleaning up or sorting it out can seem overwhelming. Where do you start, what do you keep, what do you throw away, and what would you rather be doing?

It doesn’t matter if the mess happened all in one day or accumulated over weeks to months; you can kill the overwhelm and distractions by choosing to clean it for just five minutes at a time.

That short amount of time may initially sound or feel like there’s no way it could make a difference. It can.

Here are a few things that you can accomplish in five minutes:

  • Clean off a seat in your car
  • Write a short email or send a text to let someone you love know you’re thinking of them
  • Vacuum one room
  • List out an action-step to move you toward your goals
  • Breathe deeply and settle your mind
  • Make your bed
  • Walk the halls/office to refresh your attention
  • Straighten/clean a kitchen counter
  • Empty the trash
  • Make a grocery list
  • Clean a sink or toilet
  • Learn one new word from a foreign language
  • Take a moment to stop reacting to a situation and consciously choose your actions

And that list is just the beginning.

Remember the Grand Canyon

The Colorado river just kept working at carving the Grand Canyon by eroding a tiny bit every day with occasional larger efforts. And now, it’s 277 miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep.

Any mess in your life is like that. No matter how big or overwhelming it seems, if you consistently put five minutes a day toward improving it, you’ll see results.