There are many techniques and methods to stop procrastination. But according to me, the 2-minute rule is the easiest method that will help you with procrastination. As the pandemic started and the country went into lockdown like everyone, I even bought various OTT subscriptions. I stopped working on my blog, youtube channel, and my personal yearly goals.
I had nothing to gain watching movies and tv shows. But the peer pressure of my friends and family asking me about the shows and movies made me watch it. Watching movies and shows are addicting, we binge-watch complete series and once done head to another one. This becomes a habit loop if done over a long period of time and I wanted to get out of this loop
In the 21st century, there are 2 of the most addicting things that we need to control. One is consuming data(like watching videos, movies, or browsing social media) and the second is online shopping. So I tried to replace these bad habits with the good ones.
The first thing I did, since I already had a prime subscription, I downloaded Audible. I was not an avid fan of reading books, so the idea of just listening to the book caught my attention. If you are prime subscription you get 3 free Audiobooks. So I decided, I will buy three books and then after 3 months cancel the subscription.
But one of the first 3 books that I bought was the Atomic Habits. And let me tell you things changed after reading the book. You can find my complete book summary of the Atomic Book here.
The 2 Minute Rule is adopted from the book Atomic Habits. In the book Author James Clear explains how the rule will help you to get started with the task rather than just delaying.
The 2-minute rule is originally taken from the Getting things done. In which the author David says if a task takes 2 minutes you rather do it right away.
I had adopted the 2minute rule in my daily habits and applied it to things that I procrastinate doing. More about my personal experience with the method I have mentioned at the end of the blog.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to stop Procrastinating using the 2-minute rule.
- 1.1 So how will this become a habit?
- 1.2 How to Conquer Procrastination: Procrastinating life hacks
- 1.3 My personal experience with the 2-minute rule
How to stop Procrastinating using the 2-minute rule.
The 2-minute rule states that “Whatever new habit you want to start it should take less than 2 minutes to do it”
Now here the habit I am talking about is those tasks that you don’t like to do. For some, it’s running, for some reading, or for some its washing dishes.
Now, these are the task that needs to be done and we procrastinate because sometimes it is boring and sometimes difficult. But these tasks need to be done and many people procrastinate to do things that are good for them. Like meditating, working out, reading, etc.
So how can we turn this mundane task into a habit? Habits are a routine or behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously. What if this task becomes a habit?
So the habit you want to start should not last for more than 2 minutes. Like
Running becomes ”Run for 2 minutes”
Reading becomes “read one page”
Meditating becomes ” wear yoga pants and open the mat”
Washing dishes become ”wash 4 dishes”
Now you may say that these are like not completing the task. I would say you are right. The rule is not to help you with completeing the task, but only to help you get started. This trick helps to trick the brain that that task is not that big and you will not procrastinate.
So how will this become a habit?
In the beginning, if you start with the intention of proving me or the author of atomic habits wrong then this method will never succeed. Keep your goal as starting with a new habit.
Once you start with the habit sometimes you will feel that if I have opened the book than I better read more. Or if I have cleaned 4 dishes I can do 4 more.
The thing is you just need to show up and do it every single day. And one day it will come to your mind if I have already started I can do more.
How to Conquer Procrastination: Procrastinating life hacks
Create a to-do list
Create a task list for each day is very important to be productive. At the start of this pandemic when the lockdown had just begun I never had directions on what to do. I had many tasks to do but I did none.
After reading some books on productivity(Atomic Habits, Hyperfocus), watching videos, and reading productivity blogs, I finally decided to make a to-do list. But I had 100 items on the to-do list. And not a single clue on which task to be done first and which second.
This is when I started searching and came across many to-do list strategies. These strategies will help you to sort out with your to-do list and get things done.
I also came across the famous Ivy Lee method of productivity. I started using the ivy lee method and things started clearing off my list. It’s not like the task is difficult, what’s difficult is sitting in one place and working on it.
Just a side note, reading self-help books have really helped me with procrastination. All these ideas and content mostly extensions of these self-help books. Some of the recommended books include Atomic Habits, Hyperfocus and Getting things done.
Ask someone to look after you (Accountability)
You need to start taking responsibility for your own actions. The best thing you can do is ask someone to measure it or remind you. Sometimes a habit is not noticed by the person themselves, but rather by a friend and family.
I used to ask my mother to remind me to read books every time she sees me on the phone. You can ask the person you are living with to remind you to not do or do something.
You can spice up things like if you are procrastinating by watching movies ask your closest person to monitor you and tell them you will pay them an amount every time you watch Netflix.
This will increase the person alertness on you and even you will be careful before watching Netflix.
You started your day by creating a list, then what? The best way to make the most out of your to-do list is to schedule things. Just list down a few things that you can do on a particular day.
Then after keeping a buffer time, estimate the amount of time each task will take and schedule the task throughout the day. Don’t over-schedule!
Make sure you are scheduling 2-3 tasks a day in the beginning. Later when you get a grasp of it you can increase the number of tasks you schedule.
Use Habit Tracker.
Now sometimes we miss out on the habit we want to start. So if you want to remind your self to do a habit or see the progress you can use a habit tracker to do the same. The habit tracker will help you to track your progress and motivate you to do more.
You can use any type of habit tracker you can use an app, an excel sheet, or just take a print out and put up a tracker on your fridge. We have designed a free habit tracker for our user, you can also use that from here.
People once they are all motivated start doing one task after another. Now you might be motivated at the movement but if you don’t take a break and relax, you will start procrastinating soon.
So make sure to take breaks after every task or whenever you feel like taking a breather. It’s ok not to get all things done in a schedule sometimes you need to just breadth.
Keep Distractions at bay.
The biggest reason for procrastination is the distraction that stops us from working or finishing tasks. These distractions today fit right into your pocket.
If you are working with smartphone around you, then the next notification sound will definitely distract you. If you are working in the room which has a PS or Xbox you will be tempted to play one game.
When you want to get things done, you need to keep these things at bay. Look them up, keep them at a place where it is hard to reach. If it’s hard to reach you might very well give up.
My personal experience with the 2-minute rule
In the wake of this pandemic. I have been looking to get more productive and healthy. This is when I started reading books and came across Atomic Habits by James Clear. You should definitely buy the book or can get it for free on Audible with the first-month free trial.
One thing that I am not good at is reading books. It was very difficult for me to sit in one place with constant focus and read a book. So I decided to make things interesting, I should listen to audiobooks.
I use some simple techniques to trick my mind into reading books. Since currently, I am working from home. I kept the book to read on my work desk. So every time I get bored I just read for 2 minutes.
Also used the habit staking technique. Since my laptop takes some time to boot. And set-up all the applications, till then I should read one page. Now, this is not the best method but it works for me.
That’s my personal experience with the 2-minute rule. Now I won’t say this is the best method, this is one of the methods. Might work for some and might not work for some.
If you have any suggestions or doubts do connect with me. I hope this article has provided you with the information that you were looking for.