As leaders, we are all really busy, right? 

Most of us aren’t only leaders in our own organization, but we are volunteering in other places, we have families, and there is just a lot going on. 

Due to how crazy life can be, I try to live by the 5 minutes or less rule. 

If you haven’t heard of that rule, it’s because I’ve made it up. If something’s going to take me 5 minutes or less to do, I do it immediately so it doesn’t take up brain space.

We all only have a certain mental capacity. If that thing that we need to do is taking up brain space then it’s going to throw you off. It will make you less sharp in other areas. 

For instance, I have a bunch of files I work in.  Often times I will take them out, I will use what I need in it, and then I will put it on my desk where it piles up. Now, when I’m done with a file, I put it away once I am done. It takes me less than 10 seconds. I do this instead of going through a stack of paperwork later on that is piled up on my desk. It takes me 10-15 minutes to put away instead of a collective 2 minutes max.

Sharon McCutcheon via Unsplash

I also do that with our mail now. I know that sounds super simple. In the past what we’ve done is we’ve opened it up and put it all in a pile. Then it takes me way too long to figure out if its a bill, an item to file away, or if we need to do something with it. Often, I forget that I need to do something with a piece of mail delivered. Then the paper gets lost in the stack of papers until I miss the deadline. 

Instead of putting all of these things on your to-do list, or taking up mental space, if it takes 5 minutes or less, do it right away. If you have a quick phone call or an email to write, if it can be done quickly, just do it. This will give you more time and the ability to be more productive in the long run.

When you get those tasks off of your plate, you can focus on the important matters.

[bctt tweet=”When you get those tasks off of your plate, you can focus on the important matters.” username=”stephaniegerman”]

What are some tasks that take very little time but occupy brain space because you put them off?


If you are a leader or emerging leader who wants to lead with meaning and purpose, then let’s connect. I would love to help you become a leader worth following.

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 13 Simple Actions To Increase Engagement by Becoming a Better Leader and See Your Revenue Grow guide on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on TwitterPinterest, and LinkedIn.


Stephanie German is a leadership coach, adjunct professor, and dedicated work-from-home mom. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and is the chair of the Red Shoe Society Central Valley (Ronald McDonald House guild). When she’s not coaching clients or writing about leadership, Stephanie is usually headed to the mountains or the beach with her family, drinking savory wine, or working on the latest project with her husband. Stephanie’s greatest desires are to nurture the next generation of leaders while raising her own children to be strong, independent, and brave. She lives in Fresno, California with her husband Blake and her three spunky daughters, Cara, Kinsey, and Peyton. She is the best-selling author of So Your Boss Can’t Lead?

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