How To Have Something Run For Exactly Five Minutes Python

Python Programming

As a programmer, I often find myself needing to run a certain task for a specific amount of time. Recently, I had to execute a Python script for exactly five minutes and found a few effective ways to achieve this. In this article, I’ll share my insights on how to accomplish this task, along with some personal commentary and tips.

Using time.sleep() Method

One simple way to make something run for a specific duration is by utilizing the time.sleep() method provided by the Python time module. This method suspends the execution for the given number of seconds. By combining this with a loop, we can effectively run a task for the desired duration.

import time
start_time = time.time()
while time.time() - start_time < 300:
    # Code to be executed

Personal Tip:

It’s important to account for the time taken by the code within the loop to ensure that it runs for the exact duration. Additionally, using the time.time() function to calculate the elapsed time is crucial for accuracy.

Utilizing the datetime Module

Another approach involves using the datetime module, which provides more flexibility in handling time-related operations. We can calculate the end time by adding a timedelta to the current time and then execute the task in a loop until this end time is reached.

import datetime
start_time =
end_time = start_time + datetime.timedelta(minutes=5)
while < end_time:
    # Code to be executed

Personal Tip:

When using the datetime module, be mindful of the potential impact of system time changes or adjustments during the execution of the task. It’s advisable to handle such scenarios to ensure the accuracy of the time-based operation.


After exploring these methods, I found that both approaches are effective in running a task for a specific duration in Python. Whether utilizing the time.sleep() method or the datetime module, it’s crucial to consider the accuracy and potential variations in system time. By incorporating these techniques into my projects, I can confidently ensure that my code runs for the exact duration required.