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How to Stop Procrastinating by Using The "2-Minute Rule", by James Clear on Quora

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How to Stop Procrastinating by Using The "2-Minute Rule"

James Clear

514 votes by Sahil JunejaDavid ChanSandhya Ramesh(more)

Recently, I’ve been following a simple rule that is helping me crush procrastination and making it easier for me to stick to good habits at the same time.I want to share it with you today so that you can try it out and see how it works in your life.The best part? It’s a simple strategy that couldn’t be easier to use.Here’s what you need to know…How to Stop Procrastinating With “The 2–Minute Rule”I call this little strategy “The 2–Minute Rule” and the goal is to make it easier for you to get started on the things you should be doing.Here’s the deal…Most of the tasks that you procrastinate on aren’t actually difficult to do — you have the talent and skills to accomplish them — you just avoid starting them for one reason or another.The 2–Minute Rule overcomes procrastination and laziness by making it so easy to start taking action that you can’t say no.There are two parts to The 2–Minute Rule…Part 1 — If it takes less than two minutes, then do it now.This part originally comes from David Allen's bestselling book,Getting Things Done.It’s surprising how many things we put off that we could get done in two minutes or less. For example, washing your dishes immediately after your meal, tossing the laundry in the washing machine, taking out the garbage, cleaning up clutter, sending that email, and so on.If a task takes less than two minutes to complete, then follow the rule and do it right now.Part 2 — When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.Can all of your goals be accomplished in less than two minutes? Obviously not.But, every goal can be started in 2 minutes or less. And that’s the purpose behind this little rule.It might sound like this strategy is too basic for your grand life goals, but I beg to differ. It works for any goal because of one simple reason: the physics of real life.The Physics of Real LifeAs Sir Isaac Newton taught us a long time ago, objects at rest tend to stay at rest and objects in motion tend to stay in motion. This is just as true for humans as it is for falling apples.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. I love the 2–Minute Rule because it embraces the idea that all sorts of good things happen once you get started.Want to become a better writer? Just write one sentence (2–Minute Rule), and you’ll often find yourself writing for an hour.Want to eat healthier? Just eat one piece of fruit (2–Minute Rule), and you’ll often find yourself inspired to make a healthy salad as well.Want to make reading a habit? Just read the first page of a new book (2–Minute Rule), and before you know it, the first three chapters have flown by.Want to run three times a week? Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, just get your running shoes on and get out the door (2–Minute Rule), and you’ll end up putting mileage on your legs instead of popcorn in your stomach.The 2–Minute Rule isn’t about the results you achieve, but rather about the process of actually doing the work. The focus is on taking action and letting things flow from there.The most important part of any new habit is getting started — not just the first time, but each time. It’s not about performance, it’s about consistently taking action. This is especially true in the beginning because there will be plenty of time to improve your performance later on.

There's a problem with the 2-minute rule:

There are an infinite number of things that need you that take 2-minutes to do.

If you do them all now, you'll never finish.


Procrastination is an essential tool for executive management of a large technical staff.  There is *always* too much to do with any given resources, so the true art of procrastination means knowing better than anyone else how long and how much any given item would take and the implications for everything else on your plate.  

This whole procrastination is a bad thing trend is so wrongheaded.

The key to life is learning to master the right kind of laziness.

I'm a big fan of not having to go to Quora to read this.

Because Quora makes you log in? Or something else?

always easier to stay on PW

I don't log-in to Quora on principle now.

What principle is that? I mean, they're not targeting ads at you. They just want you to stay logged in.