How to Eliminate Stress and Increase Productivity (In 2 Minutes or Less!)

by Cam

Today I want to introduce you guys to a stupid simple rule that will make a massive difference in your life.

At least it has for mine.

The 2-Minute Rule:

Pretty self-explanatory right?

The reason this works is simple: it eliminates many of the small tasks that take 20 seconds to do… but because of that so many people avoid doing them, and they end up piling up.

When these small things pile up, you quickly become discouraged (“Ugh! I have soooo much to do”) and this kick starts that evil procrastination cycle.

I’m sure you understand what I’m talking about. This is so fucking common.

When I implemented this rule, I began to see immediate dividends. If I was being lazy, it would push me to just get these small tasks out of the way, so I could focus on the main tasks of the day. It almost became an accountability system of sorts. Because I value myself and have a certain standard I expect that reflects that, being lazy on these smallers tasks became unacceptable.

One of the best examples I can give you is with your dishes…

If you cook at home, you always end up with a bunch of dishes. After dinner you’ll have pots and pans to wash, bowls, a fork and spoon, and at least one glass. This isn’t very much, but who washes them right away? Nobody.

So you finish cooking, and sit down to eat. After eating you might take 2 minutes to put the dishes in the sink, you might not. You might take 2 minutes to rinse them off, you might not. I don’t know you. But the most likely scenario is at the end of dinner, you have dishes in your sink.

And then you go do something else. Maybe you’re in a rush. Maybe you are just tired after a long day of work. After sitting on the couch for awhile, you realize you’re too lazy/tired/whatever to actually get up and do your dishes.

The next day you wake up and head to work. You throw your breakfast dishes in the sink before heading out the door. You don’t have time to do the dishes in the morning because you most likely hit your snooze button a bunch of times and are now running late. Again… this is common stuff here. After working all day you come home tired (as always) and make dinner. The cycle continues.

But this is what you probably don’t realize…

Every time you walk by your sink and it’s filled with dishes, you lose a ton of mental energy.

A loss of mental energy turns into a loss of physical energy. AND you still have to set aside time to do your dishes. That sucks! I know dishes are never a priority for me, so setting aside time to do it once it has piled up is most likely not going to happen.

And as the pile builds, your attitude plummets. You start to become more negative. And that leads into other areas too. You probably bitch about not having time to do everything you need to do. Your job sucks, etc.

Think this is extreme? It’s not. This happens every fucking day.

So what if you instituted the 2-minute rule? How would the outcome be different?

The 2-minute rule would dictate that during or after dinner, you would at least rinse your dishes, and probably put them in the dishwasher if you have one. If you don’t, then you’d cook, rinse, eat, and then wash. It’s that simple. If you only have 5 dishes in your sink, it will take less than 2-minutes to have them on a drying rack waiting to be put away.

The next time you’re in the kitchen, you would take the 30 seconds it would take to put the dishes away in your cabinets.

Andddddd now that task is DONE.

You save all the mental energy you would have wasted procrastinating about it.

Andddddddd this momentum will snowball into other areas. Like it has for me.

Anytime I would go on a road trip, go camping, or travel across the USA for 5 weeks I always came home with a bag full of dirty clothes. Not only that, but I would be completely exhausted and had no desire to do anything at all, other than lay in my bed and watch movies. Nothing wrong with that right?

But then what I found was that laundry would sit there for a few days, and eventually become a burden. I would begin to procrastinate on it, and lose all that mental energy.

So lately whenever I come home from one of these trips, the first thing I do is put all of that dirty laundry into the washing machine. The laundry is usually one load, maybe two max, so it really doesn’t take me long. Clothes go in, machine turns on, and I can go lay in my bed all I want.

The next day when I wake up, my laundry is done, and I’m starting my week off right. I wake up with one or two fewer tasks on my plate, instead of having this and that still to do before I can even start on my week; by this point, I’m already behind. This has allowed me to be that much more productive, and allows my mind to be at ease.

Institute the 2-minute rule TODAY: if it can be done in 2-minutes or less, do it now.

Speaking of which, I better go clean the kitchen before Brian gets home, otherwise it will throw his day off too.

Hope this helps!

If it did please share it with your friends. Also if you are in Calgary over Stampede, hit me up. I will be out for all 10 days. Add me on Facebook and we will rendezvous.

Want a 2-Minute Rule Wallpaper?:

Here you go, in high resolution: Click here or here

PEACE!

About Cam
Cam Adair is a Motivational Speaker who dares you to live a life you're proud of. Watch his TEDx talks on Escaping Video Game Addiction and The Surprising Truth About Rejection. Follow him on Instagram. He is the Founder of Game Quitters, a support community for those who struggle with a gaming problem.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob C August 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Hi Cam, good article. I already knew this info but hopefully reading it will actually encourage me to live by it. Like so many things in life knowing is only half the battle, getting up the energy or will to change is the other. Another tip and one I am going to implement when school starts for my son is to create a schedule. Write stuff down and plan a time to do it (laundry, vacuuming, mowing the lawn, exercise, etc). Be consistent and it will become easier to follow over time. Don;t give in to the temptation to fall off the wagon. Something always throws me off, but not this time.

Rob

Cam August 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Hey Rob.

Thanks for commenting on here too. I’m a bit of an organization freak now so I definitely recommend getting all of that setup. If you can develop the habit of organization with your kid it will make a big difference. I use Google Calendar personally. http://kingpinlifestyle.com/how-to-use-google-calendar-to-take-your-lifestyle-to-the-next-level/

The best tip I can give you is to build momentum. If you build momentum it makes it easier to make the right decisions every time. Without momentum it’s easier to make the wrong ones. A book called “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson is also great. Check that out!

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