My version of the famous “2-minute” rule to prevent procrastination.

I came across the “2-minutes” rule1 a few years ago that helps to prevent procrastination. The rule states:

“If it takes less than 2 minutes to do, then do it now.”

For example, if you were to pay the electricity bill and not in a mood to go through all those steps —the bank login, typing in the bill details, click to “pay”, wait for the OTP, and finalize the payment— then you are going to procrastinate the task. Probably you are going to procrastinate and forget this forever. If you can make the payment within 2 minutes then why procrastinate? Do it now, and relax!

My “3-minutes” version

I added one more minute to the “2-minute” version to give myself some extra buffer to trick myself that I have some extra time to complete a task. Since then, I stick on to the “3-minute” rule whenever possible.

I can say, this rule has made very good changes in my life. The electricity bill payment is an actual example taken from my own experience. There are many examples where I apply the 3-minutes rule so that I can achieve something which otherwise I would procrastinate.

  • Loading clothes into the Washing Machine. Clearing them out once it’s done.
    • Once I broke the rule and in a couple of days I had nothing to wear to the office, forcing me to take work-from-home for that day😁
  • Recharging my phone before my current plan gets expired.
  • Moving things around my home/office.
  • Writing reviews on Google Maps or writing answers on Quora.
  • Cleaning the clutter on a table.
  • Clearing out the waste collected in the baskets in my room and bathroom.

Sometimes, it will take more than 3 minutes to actually complete something once started. Still, the rule inspires me to at least start doing something than never doing it.

I never applied this rule to blogging before, which is evident from the interval between my posts. Today (a Sunday) I was doing a lot of cleaning work around my home (some of them inspired by the “3-minutes” rule) and I thought of writing a very small post about this rule. If it takes less than 3 minutes to write, then I should write now, and I started writing. Anyway, it took more than an hour to complete, still, the rule inspired me to start writing a post rather than never posting something.

If it takes less than 3 minutes to do something, then do it right now!

  1. The famous 2-minute rule comes from a book “Getting Things Done” by author David Allen.