Less than a minute?

As you all know that lately I have been working on de-cluttering my life and surroundings and increasing productivity.  There is one thing that has come in handy and has proven to be very helpful in the process – The one minute rule.

One minute rule isn’t something that I just made up. Our moms have preached this to us over and over again for years. There are plenty of blogs and books that talk about this. And when you type ‘one minute rule’ in Google, it returns  85,800,000 results. Since there are numerous resources available regarding this rule, there are also different interpretations. Here is my take on it.

What is the one-minute rule?

If it takes less than a minute to do something, just do it right now!

How do I apply it?

This might sound very simple, but it’s amazing how powerful this rule is. To give you a few examples — after work, I used to throw my shoes off right by the door; but since it takes me less than a minute to put them away in the closet, now I do it right away. While making coffee, since it takes me less than a minute, I trash the empty Splenda packets instead of stacking them on the tray like I used to. Since it takes me less than a minute to wash my face before going to bed, I don’t skip it. After a change, since I can put away my clothes in the closet in less than a minute, I don’t have to worry about a messy room. There are so many of such instances every day that I can quote here. At the end of each day, I am a happier person with a few extra minutes on hand to do things I like.

Think about your morning and how much time you spend looking for your keys before stepping out for work… I used to get so frustrated every morning trying to find my keys. But now, since it takes me less than a minute, I put it where it belongs. Every day.

This rule also helps me at work. Every day, there are many small tasks that we can tackle right away, but we put them on our to-do list. Like forward that e-mail to your boss, replying to e-mails that need only a sentence as the answer, sending that e-mail following up on something. Now, if I can take care of something in less than a minute, I just get that done right away instead of putting it down on my list. This keeps my to-do list short and more achievable, and the day more productive.

How can you apply it?

No, your brain doesn’t need to be active and alert all the time. The best way to get into this habit is to start small. One day at a time. Just tell yourself that you will follow this rule today. And see how you like it. Then change your goals to a few days. Before you know it, this will be a part of your life.

Yes it’s that simple. Good luck!

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