As a busy adviser your time is especially valuable, so we’ve rounded up tips and resources just for you that only take 10 minutes or less

Relax and Recover

Challenging days are inevitable, and it’s important to have quick methods to destress when you get time to yourself throughout the day. Exercise is a great solution to stress, but some days there’s not enough time after work to get to the treadmill. Consider these office-friendly exercises to help get through rocky roads.

  • Touch your toes. Stretching allows for better circulation in tight muscles; it also encourages deep breathing and lowers your blood pressure, which both aid in relaxation.
  • Lift weights. We’re not kidding. Keep a pair of lightweight dumbbells under your desk and do a few reps to lighten your mental load (remember to breathe!). This is also a great way to get some exercise in while you’re sitting.
  • Wall sits. Stand up straight against the wall and then slide down into a sitting position, holding for up to 60-second increments. This is one you’ll feel in your hamstrings and may even make you break a sweat, so keep a hand towel at the ready.

Clear Your Desk, Clear Your Head

Staying organized is a necessity for advisers, but regardless of the system, we all need to set aside time to keep things in check. Taking 10 minutes each week to clear and reorganize your desk or office will give a fresh look to your space and will help to revitalize your mindset. Use the same methods in your car and your home to help keep this clear-headed feeling in all of your spaces.

First and Last

Sometimes it’s hard to get started on a big task first thing in the morning, and some tasks need more attention than we can give in the last few minutes of the day. To prepare for the day or get ready for the next, take 10 minutes at the start and end of your day to take care of the little things.

  • Respond to emails that just need a quick answer, especially those that you flagged for follow up.
  • Review your calendar and appointments for the next few days.
  • Catch up on school news: Read the student newspaper, blog, or faculty and staff newsletter.
  • Say hello or goodbye to your colleagues. Sharing a smile with a friend is a great pick-me-up, whether you’re coming or going.


Escaping into a great story is just the way to end (or begin) the day. However, avid readers sometimes get caught up in a story and have trouble putting a book down after one or two chapters. Flavorwire, a publication that reports on international culture and entertainment, has compiled the top 15 stories to read in less than 15 minutes. Here are a few from that list that take less than 10 minutes.

  • “Antiheroes” by George Saunders
  • “Marabou” by Joy Williams
  • “Seibert” by Adam Haslett
  • “Notes on a War-torn Childhood” by Sara Nović

For the whole list, visit