You are waking up one day and being able to just start your long procrastinated habit only by using one technique.
In this article, we’re going to see what is the 2-minute rule and how you can make it better.
Overcoming procrastination can be a challenging task, but some hacks can make it easier to beat.
What is procrastination?
Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something.
It’s a terrible habit we most do. It’s the art of postponing your studying until the day before the exam. It’s the decision to go to the gym starting this Monday. It’s the beginning of eating clean since last year’s new eve.
But why is procrastination such an epidemic?
- Too many options;
- Thinking is hard – rationality and decision making uses a lot of energy and the part that wants a good time requires less energy to function; that’s why it’s easier to scroll for 2 hours than doing something productive;
- Perfectionism – we hate the feeling we do not have the required education to start or finish something/not being able to do things right;
- The internet – phones, gadgets, social media makes it really easy to procrastinate.
How can you stop procrastinating?
Our motivation is affected by four key factors:
1# Confidence in our ability to succeed
Focus on clarifying and simplifying your tasks.
Why am I doing this? What needs to be done? What do I need to do to get there?
Break up the goal into small pieces.
What my psychologist told me a long time ago was to reward myself after every finished task.
- Instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media all day long, this shall be a 10-minute reward after an accomplished task;
- Watch Netflix for an hour;
- Eat something sweet;
- Drink a coffee.
Break every goal in time units. Instead of setting an unlimited period of time, set a time limit of 48 hours, 7 days, 30 days to accomplish it.
You are always in control of your own time, and you can choose to do whatever you want to do with that time.
To fight impulsivity, you can use apps like Forest: Stay focused, which can lock your phone for a limited period of time.
An easy strategy to implement is the two-minute rule, which was created to fight off procrastination.
David Allen inspires this rule.
What is the two-minute rule?
The two-minute rule has a simple definition: If it takes less than two minutes, then do it now.
Any habits can be scaled into a two-minute version:
Let’s begin with the most common ones, which can be replaced with whatever you want to do:
- “Read before bed each night” becomes “Read one page.”
- “Do thirty minutes of yoga” becomes “Take out my yoga mat.”
- “Study for class” becomes “Open my notes.”
- “Fold the laundry” becomes “Fold one pair of socks.”
- “Run three miles” becomes “Tie my running shoes.”
- “Learn a new language” becomes “Learn 10 new words.”
- “Clean your house” becomes “Clean your desk.”
This is how the rule works, but once you get going, why should you stop?
And here is how you can make it even better: If you feel like reading more, cleaning for more time, learning more words, then you do not have to stop.
The main idea is to make your habits as easy as possible to start. It takes just 2 minutes to start a habit, and then it can be refined and modified to achieve the best results.
Why does this rule work?
Because once you start doing something, it becomes easier to continue doing that thing.
The 2-minute rule stands out as the best rule to follow because it highlights the idea that all good things happen once you get started.
- If you want to be fit – go to the gym 2 times a week, and you’ll find yourself going 5 times in a few months.
- If you want to become a better YouTuber – watch a youtube video on how to edit, and you will find yourself watching every video about editing.
- If you want to write better blog articles – read one article about this topic, and you will find yourself researching more and more.
The two-minute rule is about getting you started on the road to success. It’s about consistency.
Do you have something that you can start and do in under two minutes? Start it now, and you will go a long road.
The point is mastering the habit of showing up.
Does it still feel tough to get started?
It may seem like a trick, right?
You now know that this rule is meant to trick you into getting started and then keep you going until you have mastered the habit. I mean, do you really want to read only one page? Meditate for only two minutes? Run for only two minutes? I don’t think so.
But If it gets really hard getting started, then don’t do it for more than two minutes. Make this the rule’s rule.
Meditate only for two minutes. Run only for two minutes. Learn a new language only for two minutes. Please make it so your new habit lasts only for 120 seconds.
“Making a habit as easy as possible to start will lead you down a more productive path.”
Running a marathon is hard. Running a 5k is hard. Walking 10,000 steps is moderately difficult. Walking for 10 minutes is easy. Putting on your running shoes is very easy. Your goal might be running the marathon, but your first step is to put on your running shoes.
Perfection cannot be achieved from the beginning, just get started, and the rest will follow.