Five kinds of “moments”

We possess a limited number of micro-moments. In fact, Thinking Fast and Slow author, Daniel Kahneman counted them for us.  We have 20,000 three-second moments in a waking day (of 16 hours).  Not all of them are created equally, however, according to Curious author, Todd Kasdan.  Here’s how he views them.

  1. There are activities we truly enjoy and naturally want to continue doing.  These are easy to recognize, like hobbies or interests or purpose-filled work.
  2. There are activities we don’t enjoy, that aren’t necessary, and take a toll on our lives. These are our list of the “shoulds” and “should nots” we do to avoid displeasing others (based on reality or our assumptions)… and they can be hazardous to our health!
  3. There are activities we don’t enjoy, but for important reasons, are necessary to continue. This would include time spent raising children 24/7 or completing some aspect of our work that we don’t relish or exercising, etc.  It’s about anything “valuable” that isn’t necessarily “satisfying.”
  4. There are activities that allow us to rest and replenish ourselves. This is highly personal and would include everything from taking a walk (or nap) to enjoying a moment with our favorite magazine  to having a nice bath.  We know when something renews us (without numbing us).
  5. There are activities we don’t engage in that might contribute positively to our lives. These are what Todd Kasdan calls activities that have “been dismissed too quickly or never considered” because of a lack of familiarity of what they might be like. For instance, I KNEW I didn’t want to learn t’ai chi… until I tried it!


  • Refer to the Five Kinds of Moments worksheet if you want to conduct a detailed assessment of your activities throughout the day today.  Otherwise, make a few notes on the side of this printed page as you go through your day (although this can also be accomplished retrospectively).
  • Be gently honest with yourself as you determine which category best describes your experience for each activity.  For instance, if you feel that you did not particularly enjoy getting your children ready for summer camp this morning, you would put a check mark at the appropriate time slot for # 3… or # 2 if they could have done more of the preparation work themselves and you “rescued them” at your expense… in contrast to “helping” them.
  • Notice how your body feels as you consider how much time you spent in each of the “five kinds of moments” at the end of the day.
© Copyright 2013 Maria Hunt

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