Use The "One Minute Rule"

Rakas Kesa

After reading The Happiness Project, I was inspired to embark on my own journey to find personal happiness. Each Wednesday I will be posting about my weekly challenge, including both successes and failures. Follow along, and don't be afraid to join in! 

The people that know (and love) me are very aware that my worst habit is procrastination. If someone asks me when I will be doing the laundry, unloading the dishwasher, or cleaning the kitty litter, my most common answer is "Soon!". This proclamation is usually followed by my continued absorption in a television show or my giggling at yet another internet meme. Frequently this leads to nagging by the requesting party, the occasional argument, and (if I'm lucky) it ends with them just completing the task themselves.

Laundry is not a difficult task; neither is helping with the dishes, or packing a lunch. They are not labour-intensive, and they really only take a few minutes of my time. In my mind, I rationalized my avoidance and procrastination as "time management" and "prioritizing tasks", when in reality I was just too lazy to get up and do them most of the time.

This week I have challenged myself to implement a "one minute rule"--if a task will take one minute or less, I just do it instead of adding it to a never-ending list of things to do. I decided to have the rule extend to all facets of my life, not just tasks at home, and I feel like I've been successful with it. In the past, I've frequently felt overwhelmed when looking at my task list for the day. I've realized now that (in too many cases) it would take me longer to physically write an item on the list than it actually would have taken for me to accomplish it. 

I quite like the rule, and it's definitely one that I plan on continuing. By the end of each day, I'm able to reflect on what I've accomplished during the day instead of focusing on what is still on my list. Spending a minute here or there to get something done has, in the long run, saved me quite a bit of time this week.

And now that I'm not writing as many lists, I don't have as many to lose!

What tasks do you tend to avoid? 

Next Week: Another rule to live by--the daily ten minute tidy