You know, lose 20 pounds, get a new job, clean out the garage – and you want all of them done yesterday? Well, stop looking at the big picture – and start small and short-term. 

The average corporate executive has an attention span of 7 minutes. Executive coach Allyson Lewis decided that if that’s all the time a CEO normally gives to each task that lands on their desk, maybe that’s enough time to do anything. Like find your purpose, boost your performance at work, or clarify your priorities. And she dubbed those 7- minute-bursts “micro-actions.” Here’s how to make them work for you:

  • Do you want more clients and more income? Great. But don’t revamp your marketing materials or hire an expensive consultant. Instead, spend 7 minutes, and make two extra cold calls a day.

  • Want to lose weight? Forget about fad diets and extreme exercise programs you can’t stick to. Instead, every time you have a craving, wait 7 minutes before you act. The typical craving lasts between 5 and 12 minutes, so 7 should be enough. But if that doesn’t work, take a 7 minute walk.

  • Want to get promoted faster, forget about playing office politics. Instead, spend 7 minutes writing a hand-written note to a colleague, manager, or client. Then, spend 7 minutes reading a good business book.

  • Get rid of stress in 7 minutes: Spend it disposing of the clutter in the office kitchen, even if the mess isn’t yours. Arrive 7 minutes early to your next meeting or appointment – and relax. Or make a list of 7 fun things you’d like to do this year.

You’d be amazed what you can accomplish in just 7 minutes a day. If you’d like to go further, check out the book: The 7-Minute Difference: Small Steps to Big Changes by Allyson Lewis.