Sixty Seconds Worth of Distance Run

Got some spare time ?

“It’s later than you think” – Anonymous Sundial Inscription


Water a plant. Sort out the recycling. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and relax. Remove something harmful from the road. Hug someone who needs it. Get yourself a glass of water. Stretch. Focus your mind on what you’re doing now. Write a note of thanks to somebody. Turn-off any appliances left on standby. Focus on your breathing. Leave someone an anonymous positive post-it note.


Donate free rice online. Post an encouraging comment on the internet. Talk to a homeless person on the street. Leave an anonymous positive note, or voucher in a returned library book. Turn your hot water thermostat down one degree. Learn or tell a joke. Put some coins in someone else’s parking meter. Decide what you want to achieve today. Give someone encouraging feedback. Email an old friend. Sign-up to a 38 Degrees petition. Send a friend or colleague a link to an inspiring or useful website. Put half a brick in your toilet cistern to reduce the water used each flush. Pray, reflect or meditate. Sign-up with the MPS and Royal Mail to avoid junk mail. Promote a cause or campaign using social media. Feed the birds.


Have a mini-purge of your wardrobe or cupboards. Make a micro-loan via Kiva. Send someone a small anonymous gift. Phone a family member or close friend just to say Hi and tell them how much you appreciate them. Watch the clouds drift past. Collect litter from your street. Make a list of things you’re thankful for. Cancel your newspaper subscription and read your news online instead. Read or write a poem.


Read to your child. Update your to-do-list. Clear out your email inbox. Spend some time with your pet. Write to your MP. Introduce some friends to each other. Check your car’s tyre pressures. Listen to an inspirational TED talk or lecture. Write to your local Council about something that needs to be done, or just to say thanks. Prepare a healthy lunchbox for tomorrow. Start a compost heap in your garden. Clean the back of your fridge, as dusty coils use more energy. Sponsor a child in the developing world through Compassion or World Vision. Send someone an unexpected gift. Go for a short walk outside. Donate food to your nearest foodbank.


Take a short nap to refresh yourself. Take a half-hour break from the TV or computer. Play with your children. Do some exercise. Wipe the slate clean and reconcile with someone you’ve fallen-out with. Arrange a car-share with someone. Switch you energy, banking or mortgage to ethical or green providers. Bleed all your radiators and set your thermostats and timer properly. Plant and grow your own flowers to give as gifts, instead of buying imported ones. Get your opinions known – write to a local paper, call a local radio chat show or post on the internet. Clear out your fridge, but keep your freezer nearly full.


Cut your neighbours hedge or mow their lawn. If you’re lucky enough to have paid work to do, do some – many people in the world are not so lucky. Go swimming. Lend someone a book. Write something for publication, or just for yourself. Go shopping for a neighbour. Listen to Randy Pausch give the ‘last lecture of his life’. Take your old mobile phones in for recycling. Teach somebody something – perhaps show an elderly relative how to use email or make video calls. Donate old books and other clutter to a charity shop. Cook a bulk meal for the week or the freezer.


Read a book. Start a blog. Educate yourself on climate change, developing world debt, global food security, or any other complex issue. Look at better insulating your home with draught excluders or curtains. Clear out accumulated junk from your life. Work on your bucket list. Watch a good film or show. Learn to cook something new. Spend time with your partner. Write a letter to your future self. Plan healthier and more frugal meals for next week. Give blood. Attend a public meeting. Gaze at the stars.


Go on a family picnic. Prepare and plant a vegetable garden. Climb a mountain. Bury a time capsule. Install rainwater barrels and storage. Volunteer for something. Go cycling. Fix something that’s broken. Visit your local library. Do something to better organise your home or your surroundings. Discuss working from home more with your boss. Enter the Buckminster Fuller Challenge. Find something to get involved with in your local community. Join a group/organisation/church/society/class/course. Organise a hunger banquet.


Remind yourself that the average Western life expectancy will mean you will enjoy around 4,000 weekends in your life – make them all count! Visit friends. Go on a beekeeping course. ┬áDON’T go shopping. Go camping. Build a pond in your garden. Organise or install loft or cavity wall insulation. Plan your future.


Photo by Ross Elliot


  1. The list of how to spend your spare 1, 10, 3600…..however many spare minutes is awesome. If everydone did one thing a week, imagine the how the country would feel. We are told that when England’s football reaches yet another Quarter Final, the country feels great and we love each other (until the game ends and we hate the winning country for a while), and none of us really feel any positive effects. Imagine if someone did something that actually helped us for no other reason than to be nice. Even, if you don’t stop doing negative things, but you do something positive, it would neutralise the initial action!! Better still, replace the negativity with a positive action. Go on, risk it!!

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