There have been a number of different rules and techniques to help people break their habit of procrastinating. I’ve heard of the 5-Minute Rule, 15-Minute Rule, taking specific length breaks, various forms of concentration games, etc.
While I don’t struggle with motivation (I did many years ago) I always test any new theories I come across out of interest. Just to test the psychological side and see if it’s something I can recommend to other people.
Different people are stimulated and motivated in different ways. This much I know to be true. But there are also some effective motivational methods that will help most people break their procrastinating ways.
These are the methods I’m looking for, and with the 2-Minute Rule I think I’ve found this. I think credit goes out to James Clear. He either created this rule, or has helped spread the word on it. His book is where I heard of this rule.
The 2-Minute Rule is simple, easy to implement, and has a good success rate across a wide range of people. So let’s take a look at what the 2-Minute Rule is exactly, and how you can use it to help you beat your own procrastinating ways.
Stop Procrastination with the 2-Minute Rule
I’m not spoiling any surprises by saying right off the top that this rule involves 2 minute blocks of time. The main part of the theory being that most of the tasks you are putting of by procrastinating instead will take less than 2 minutes.
Stop now and think about some of the little jobs you’ve been putting off. How long will they really take if you gave them 100% of your concentration? I’m guessing most of them will take less than two minutes individually. It’s often the case.
The 2-Minute Rule helps you get out of that cycle of putting tasks off by helping you realize that they tasks aren’t that daunting. 2 minutes is not a long time, and if it means you’re getting things done it’s worth that initial push, right?
How to Stop Procrastinating Now with the 2-Minute Rule
As mentioned above, it’s about recognizing what tasks will literally take 2 minutes or less to do. Things like taking out the trash, putting away clean clothes, tidying up after yourself, these are all things that can create chaos around the home. I’m sure we have all been guilty of letting house tasks slide, or certainly know people who do.
Yet all these tasks take a couple of minutes at the time. Start thinking about this and you will break your habits. If it’s going to take a couple of minutes, just do it.
2-Minute Rule and Time Management
Obviously you cannot achieve every task in 2 minutes or less. That’s just not realistic and is not what this rule is saying. If you can break down larger tasks into 2 minute chunks then that’s good. Otherwise don’t try to compromise and cut corners, give the longer tasks the time they need.
The 2-Minute Rule is intended to get you started. Once you are in motion everything else becomes a lot easier. Procrastination is a sedentary habit. You are stuck still, as opposed to working in a forward motion and getting things done.
Using the 2-Minute Rule for Longer Tasks and Motion
It’s easier to carry on with something that’s already started. The first step is always the hardest, but once you are in motion you can carry on easier. Especially if it’s something you enjoy, then it’s just really easy to keep in motion.
For example, if you have the mammoth task of writing a book ahead of you that’s pretty daunting. I know how it feels, it’s hard to get started. But by just writing a few sentences that may or may not end up anywhere in the book it’s makes an inroad.
This is a perfect example of using the 2-Minute Rule to get started on a large task. I took out just 2 minutes to write a few lines and the next thing I know I’m writing a whole chapter.
The 2-Minute rule is about discipline like any procrastination breaking method. But it’s really easy to get started with, you just need a 2 minute burst. You will find yourself starting to apply this over and over, giving yourself the momentum and motivation you need to achieve anything.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.