The 5-minute Game
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“How can you beautifully/artfully fill a 5-minute time-block?
I call this question The 5-minute Game.”
“How do you approach it?”
“That’s part of the game. Playfully finding ways to approach it. It can be by looking at it through different lenses.
For instance, you can look at it through the lens of habits.
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear’s identifies four rules of habit creation:
Make it obvious. (Cue)
Make it attractive. (Craving)
Make it easy. (Response)
Make it satisfying. (Reward)
The idea is that, if you want to install a habit, consistency is key. The four rules are basically strategies for ensuring consistency.
One strategy for ensuring consistency is having a contingency system, a ‘minified‘ version of the habit that is too small to fail. Brian Johnson called the minimum amount of time you allocate a habit ‘floor‘, and the maximum ‘ceiling‘. [floor/ceiling model]
For many habits, I like to use 5 minutes as the floor.
Another lens you can look at it through is the mental/metaphoric model of ‘snacking‘.
I love the idea of ‘movement snacks‘ – which I know from Frank Forenchich’s beautiful book Beautiful Practice –, brief, frequent periods of physical activity throughout the day.
Deconstructing it, the mental/metaphoric model is that of ‘snacking’. The model has two components: frequency and brevity. Both are parameters you can play with to create beautiful structures.
In terms of brevity, one such structure is what I call the 5-minute snack.”
“Any tips for creating such snacks?”
“Make them fun.
I like to make them thematic. (‘thematic-snacks‘)
Improv-snacks: 5-minute improvisation sessions. It can be improvised movement, but not only.
Perception-snacks: 5-minute sessions of playing with perceptual-filters.
Continuous-movement-snacks: 5-minute sessions of continuous movement exploration. I like to focus on the transition between movements.
Tree-climbing-snacks: 5-minute tree-climbing sessions. I like to create little routes in the tree to challenge myself.
Fear-snacks: 5-minute fear-exposure sessions. For instance I like to climb as high as possible in a tree, and stay there for 5 minutes.”
“Fear-snacks don’t sound very fun.”
“It’s a matter of Perception.
A key aspect of the Art of Playful Living is making what is good for you fun.”