How to Use The One Minute Rule to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done


I would consider myself an organized and productive person MOST of the time, but I can also procrastinate like nobody’s business from time to time. What is especially frustrating is when I procrastinate on tasks that are SUPER easy, and that I know are going to take me no time at all! Enter: the One Minute Rule.


How to Use the One-Minute Rule to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done


What is the One Minute Rule?

I first heard about the One Minute Rule on one of my FAVORITE podcasts, Happier with Gretchen Rubin (if you’re looking for personal development podcasts, definitely check this one out).

The rule is super simple. Any task that you can finish in one minute or less, you do right away. For example, putting your shoes away as soon as you get home, or making the bed first thing in the morning. Both take less than one minute, and later you’ll be super glad you did them!

The One Minute Rule is an easy place to start when you’re looking for productivity and personal development tips, because it’s just SO simple to accomplish, and takes almost no time (one minute or less).

If you really follow it, I can almost guarantee you’ll notice that your home is cleaner and less cluttered all the time because those dishes don’t have a chance to pile up!


How I Use the One Minute Rule

As someone who preaches batching tasks, it doesn’t seem like I would be a proponent of the One Minute Rule. But there are definitely situations where I find it to be super useful!

I most often use the One Minute Rule when it comes to housekeeping. One big example of this is the dishes. If I use a coffee cup, it takes me almost as much time to open the dishwasher and put it in there as it does to put it in the sink, so I try to be diligent about doing that.

I also really appreciate having a bed that is made every day (partly because it looks nicer, partly because, for some reason, it’s just a lot nicer to get into bed at night when the bed is made). Since I know it takes me less than a minute, I usually try to do that when I’m the last one out of bed in the morning.

I also use the concept of the one minute rule to push myself to do things I might otherwise talk myself out of. For example, there are definitely times when I get home super late at night, and I’m exhausted and just want to fall into bed.

On those nights, it would be super easy for me to talk myself into going to bed without washing off my makeup or taking out my contacts. But then I remember that it will literally take me one minute to do those things, and I’ll feel 1000% better in the morning if I do. When I think about it that way, it’s SO much easier to talk myself into doing them.


Other Benefits of the One Minute Rule

One thing that I love about the One Minute Rule is that it’s a great way to trick yourself into getting bigger tasks done as well.

For example, let’s say I tell myself I’m just going to take one minute and clean a certain part of the apartment that is cluttered, such as the coffee table. Well once I get started, chances are I’m going to keep going until I’ve tackled all the clutter in our living area (we have an open floor plan so the kitchen, living room, and dining room are basically one big room).

Another good example of this is email. I might tell myself that I have ONE email that I know needs to be responded to and I know it’s going to take me less than a minute. But once I’ve got my inbox open, it’s SO much easier to finish organizing my inbox and reply to the rest of the emails.

Sometimes you just need that initial boost before you have the motivation you need to get a bigger task done.  


Final Thoughts

There you go, my friends, that’s the one minute rule! If you find yourself procrastinating on the quick, easy tasks (and then getting super frustrated with yourself), give the one minute rule a shot. I guarantee you’ll find that you get more done and have more time to relax later!