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How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the '2-Minute Rule'

The 2 Steps Of The 2-Minute Rule

  1. If it takes less than 2 minutes, then do it now.
  2. When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.

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How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the '2-Minute Rule'

How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the '2-Minute Rule'

https://medium.com/the-mission/how-to-stop-procrastinating-by-using-the-2-minute-rule-310fa8495fb9

medium.com

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Key Ideas

The Reasoning Behind The 2–Minute Rule

The 2–Minute Rule overcomes procrastination by automating the decision-making process, making it so easy to start taking action that you can’t say no.

It consists of breaking down tasks into chunks that can be completed into 2 minutes and deciding to do immediately any tasks that fit into this timeframe. Obviously, many goals take more than 2 minutes, but following this rule allows you to kickstart a habit and slowly add on to it, making it less likely that you will give up.

The 2 Steps Of The 2-Minute Rule

  1. If it takes less than 2 minutes, then do it now.
  2. When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.

Habits And The 2–Minute Rule

The 2–Minute Rule allows you to develop a process of consistently taking action, regardless of goal achievement. The focus is on taking action and letting things flow from there.

The 2–Minute Rule works for big and small goals because of the inertia of life. Once you start doing something, it’s easier to continue doing it. And beginning is the hardest part of a new habit — not just the first time, but each time.

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If the 2-Minute Rule feels forced to you

... try this: do something you want to make into a habit for 2 minutes and then stop. And keep repeating.

This reinforces the identity you want to build and, eventually, you will feel ...

Why The 2-Minute Rule Works

The point is not to do one thing, but to master the habit of showing up. A habit must be established before it can be improved. 

Mastering the art of showing up, the first 2 minutes become a ritual at the beginning of a larger routine. This is the ideal way to master a difficult skill. The more you ritualize the beginning of a process, the more likely it becomes that you can slip into the state of deep focus that is required to do great things. 

Stop Procrastinating With the “2-Minute Rule”

The Rule states “When you start a new habit, it should take less than 2 minutes to do. So break down your habits into tasks that can be accomplished within 2 minutes.

The idea is to make your habits as easy as possible to start. Making a task from a habit short makes it feel less like a challenge and it works as a “gateway habit” that leads you down a more productive path.

The 2-Minute Rule
  • If you can do it in less than two minutes, do it now (assuming you have no other, bigger priorities at the moment.)
  • When you start a new habit, make your goals into 2-minut...
The Benefits Of The 2-Minute Rule
  • If you're trying to build new habits and skills, making every step of the way an easily achievable 2-minute chunk, will make you more likely to do it over and over again.
  • The 2–Minute Rule works for big goals as well as small goals because of the inertia of life. Once you start doing something, it’s easier to continue doing it. It also teaches you to get to the point of getting things done.
The Danger Of The 2—Minute Rule

It’s easy to loose track of time after starting a 2-minute task. Although it’s a good thing that you can immerse yourself in a task that you had to use the 2-minute rule to begin with, losing track of time may leave you behind on everything else.

Pay attention to your schedule and prioritize properly.

Default choices
Default choices

90% of your daily decisions happen automatically, many shaped by your environment. Thus, most decisions are a habit, not a deliberate choice.

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Designing your life

Design your life like a choice architect:

  • Encourage smarter decisions you want to do by making them more accessible.
  • Add friction to habits you want to quit, making them less accessible, or remove the option to perform them completely.
Richard Thaler
Richard Thaler

“First, never underestimate the power of inertia. Second, that power can be harnessed.” 

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