The one minute rule: How to beat procrastination 60 seconds at a time.

3 mins read

The one minute rule is as simple as it sounds. If a task takes less than 60 seconds, do it straight away; taking out the rubbish, making your bed, sending an email anything! The trick to the simple rule is to be consistent, once you start doing these mundane little tasks that build up you will find it much easier to tackle bigger, more time-consuming ones.

Procrastination affects everybody but to different degrees. I know people who have pretty steady routine’s but don’t get much done, often leaving stuff to the last minute. Others like myself, who have horrendous routines but once or twice a week I will get everything done at once, clean my room, clean our kitchen, catch up with uni work and write a couple articles. The sense of achievement usually lasts about five days until I do it again. This works but is not ideal so I have been looking for a more realistic way to get stuff done.

Pushing tasks to the back of your list never helps anyone, whilst getting nothing done eventually it will develop into a feeling of failure and disappointment in yourself. Whilst building up you may fall into a pattern that is difficult to shake off. Sitting in a clean room with everything done is a fantastic feeling and the one minute rule makes it achievable.


Another plus to the one minute rule is it takes away the need to prioritise areas of work. If you start a little bit of two essays a couple of weeks before there due it decreases the amount of stress when the deadlines start coming up. This is a vital habit to get into while you’re at uni. I find especially, doing a joint-honours with Film and Media and Journalism, that despite being the same faculty; most my deadlines come up within a day of each other. Being able to manage both subjects is essential.

Credit: Twitter

It’s like going swimming you know the water is going to be cold the first time you jump in the pool, but once you immerse yourself in the water you don’t feel it as much. As the reading week comes to an end I’m going to try and use this as be much more on top of uni work and take control a bit more.

Start easy, think of five things you need to do each day that take less than a minute and just get them done! Build this practice up over time and see how effective it can be. As well as improving the organisation in your life, it can also give your mentality the kick start it needs.

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Film Media and Journalism student at the University of Stirling. Editor in Chief at Brig Newspaper. Edinburgh / Stirling

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