At the Women's march

At the Women's march
All Lives Matter

Never Again

Never Again
We Won't Go Back

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I love it when I learn from younger generations. One of my new gurus is Lisa Zaslow, a professional organizer whom I have known since she was a little girl playing with my little girl. Lisa can see how busy her mom (my friend Fran, who is quoted in SUPER GRANNY) is -- between grandchildren, work, and play -- and so Lisa understands that today's grannies are not sitting around twiddling our thumbs until our grandchildren call or visit. We make the time for them -- and that means making the most of the time we have available. One way to do this is to be productive about the tiniest chunks of time.

One of Lisa's regular free e-bulletins emphasized the usefulness of thinking about our lives in 5-minute intervals. Recognize yourself when she says, "This is particularly useful for people with short attention spans and who like variety"? Here are some of her suggestions (and mine) for what you can do in 5 minutes:
* Make a to-do list.
* Pick the most important thing on today's list and spend 5 minutes moving it forward, by, say, making a phone call, sending an e-mail, creating a spreadsheet, or starting a file.
* Make a list of things you can do in 5 minutes.
* As the first item write "Make a list." Then you can cross that one off right away!
* Recharge your batteries by meditating, having a healthy snack, or doing a few jumping jacks.
* Throw out the pens and pencils that you hate, that you never use, and that don’t work.
* Delete a few old emails.
* Enter a new contact into your database or Rolodex.
* Water your plants.
* Send a joke to a grandchild.
* Or, as I just did, put a new post on your blog.
* Choose one tip. Set a timer for 5 minutes. See how much better you feel.
* Use this handy internet timer:

Lisa Zaslow is the founder of and is a nationally recognized expert and speaker on organization and productivity. Lisa helps individuals and businesses to be more productive, more organized and less stressed. Her expertise is regularly featured on television on shows including HGTV’s Mission: Organization and in publications including The New York Times, Real Simple, and Entrepreneur. Lisa is the author of “Can’t I Just Shred It All? 101 Quick Tips to File – and Find – Your Important Papers”, available at Contact Lisa at (212)866-9493 or


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you've found the 5 minute tips useful! (Love your addition of Send a joke to a grandkid). Love all your photos - and a nice surprise to see Henry and Molly and Lizzie.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me of the value of five-minute intervals. This is a great tip for getting started when a task seems too daunting to begin. It feels so good after you've made even a tiny bit of progress. Getting past the inertia with a small step moves you in the right direction.
Thanks for the tip.
From another busy grandma.