A Short List of Cheap Wins

Stephanie Cansian
2 min readJan 10, 2022
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

On days when “get-up-and-go” has gotten up and gone, you need a cheap win; something takes very little energy but still gives you that dopamine hit that makes you feel better.

Here are my top 10 cheap wins. Before starting any of these, set a timer for 10 minutes.

Please note, none of these are cure-alls for any condition. These are just small wins that you can check off to feel like you accomplished something today. The idea is to snowball them, start small and work up to the more significant tasks.

  1. Drink one 16 oz bottle of water. Add some flavor if you need to; chug it if you must. But drink the whole thing.
  2. Do one lesson on Duolingo.
  3. Throw laundry in the washer. You don’t have to turn it on; just get it off the floor/chair.
  4. Make yourself a single cup of coffee or tea. While it’s brewing, you can mentally prepare for the next, slightly bigger task to tackle. I had to brew a cup of tea before sitting down to write this list.
  5. Meditate, either sitting on the floor or lying down in savasana.
  6. Write 100 words of anything: journalling, a poem, a Medium article, a letter to the editor, a solid tweet.
  7. If you’re more of a visual person, pick out three colors, and draw or doodle one item sitting in front of you.
  8. Create a basic meal plan. Start with planning out one meal every day for a week. Then two. Then three. If your timer stops here, keep going: build your shopping cart with what you need and schedule a pickup. If you have grocery delivery, get your groceries delivered. Now you don’t have to think about food for the rest of the week. This is an example of an ideal snowball win because you started with something small and low energy and wound up saving yourself at least six hours.
  9. Put away one item where it belongs. When the timer goes off, move on to another cheap win or a more significant task.
  10. Read something non-fiction and interesting. Learn one fact, and then share it with someone.
  11. BONUS: If you are able, take a brisk walk, stroll, or ride in the sunshine.



Stephanie Cansian

Former employee of Apple, Starbucks, and Amazon, who vowed never to be an employee again. Copywriter, coordinator, and proven catalyst for 10X change.