What can you do in 1 minute?

I read and adored Gretchin Rubin’s The Happiness Project.  If you’ve not read it, I highly suggest it.  The book documents Gretchin’s journey to up her happiness – through awareness and effort.  She did bunches and bunches of research and then mapped out one year of activities to take her base-level happiness (which was at a very healthy level) even higher.

One of the activities she created early in her year was her One Minute Rule – if you can do something in less than 1 minute – DO IT!  Don’t put it off.  Gretchin started with making her bed, a keystone habit (great place to start doing research on habit formation, by the way) that propelled her onto doing small changes that made her life a bit happier.

I do my best to live with this rule in mind.  I am a natural procrastinator and clutter easily becomes background to me; I don’t see clutter after 24 hours.  This small but profound shift can easily spark me on to more and more productivity.  This little trick is how I get the dishes done – “I can unload the dishwasher in 1 minute – do it!”  Then,  I will automatically load, BAM!  The dishes are done.

My home is a little bit cleaner, a bit neater.  Then, when it needs to be really straightened up  I don’t spend twice as much time cleaning (throwing away paper plates, putting my 17 ga-gillion coffee cups in the sink, all the little things that get under your skin).  I get to start off in a bit easier place, avoiding a week’s worth of small bothers – no clean forks, knowing where the remote is, finding clean underwear… you get the picture.

Added bonus – my husband hates clutter!  Keeping this rule in mind helps create a calmer space for the man in my home who I happen to really like.  He notices that things are tidier and he’s happier, more willing to do small household chores.  Win-win.

List a bunch of activities you can do in 1 minute.  Keep this list in an easy place and use it to take care of little things.  I suggest the front screen of your smart phone.  Every time you open your phone and waste time, you have the reminder (and option) to accomplish a small productive task.

1 Minute Rule