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How to Get More Done with the One Minute Rule

By implementing the “one minute rule” into your daily life, you’ll find time you never knew was there. How does it work and how to get started.

If you’re like me, a common question you ask yourself is, “how can I get more done in a day?” Lack of time to get things done seems to be a common complaint for many people. And while we can’t add more hours to our day, we can definitely create better habits to make the most of the time we have available. By implementing the “one minute rule” into your daily life, you’ll find time you never knew was there.

What is the “One Minute Rule”?

The “one minute rule” is the idea that if something can be done in a minute or less, you should do it right away rather than putting it off.

*NOTE* While I wish I could take credit for this life-changing habit, I first heard about this rule when I was listening to the Happier podcast by Gretchen Rubin (author of The Happiness Project). Go have a listen. I highly recommend it!

one minute rule

Why will this help me use my time better?

By taking care of smaller tasks at the time they need to be done, it leaves you with more time to tackle bigger tasks. It can be overwhelming to feel like you’re making progress when it feels like there are a million little things that need to be done. If you are someone who tends to put off little tasks that seem inconvenient or you don’t like doing (like washing the dishes), this is a great little rule to help you manage your time better. This is because it feels like a smaller commitment that you’re making rather than a huge life change.

get stuff done

Does it really work?

If you’re consistently using the “one minute rule”, then the answer is YES! It follows the idea that little things over time build up into bigger things. If you are rinsing and loading your dishes each time you use one rather than letting them pile into the sink, how much easier will it be to throw a dishwasher tablet into the machine and turn it on? When you take your clothes off, put them away or in the hamper immediately to keep your closet and drawers tidy.

What can I do in one minute?

When you stop and think about it, there are so many different tasks you can do in a minute or less. I’ve listed 15 below, but I’m sure you can easily think of at least that many more that apply to you specifically.

  • Answer an email
  • Go through the mail
  • Pay a bill
  • Hang up your shirt
  • Rinse the dishes
  • Wipe the counter
  • Write a note to a friend
  • Comment on a friend’s social media post (but don’t get sucked in!)
  • Text a friend or family member
  • Start a load of laundry
  • Pick up the towels off the floor
  • Put away shoes
  • Record your One Second Everyday video
  • Fill up your water bottle and take a drink
  • Make the bed
minute timer

An alternate way to use the “one minute rule”

If there’s not any one task that needs to be done right away, but you have a little time to get some things done, consider this alternative. Set a timer for one minute and see how much you can get done! I use this with my kids all the time and it’s amazing how much faster they get things done when they’re trying to beat a timer. But this isn’t just a trick to get your kids to clean. You can use it too!

How to Get More Done With the One Minute Rule

About the author

Shani Ogden

Shani is a freelance writer, blogger and stay-at-home mom specializing in organization, family fun and activities, and DIY. When she isn't blogging or writing, Shani enjoys being out in the sunshine with her family, baking and bargain shopping.

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