Nat and I came up with this rule as we were designing our 5 week “Change your space, change your life” course – I don’t recall the details but it had something to do with the book I was reading at the time called Getting things done by David Allen where he talks about a 1 or 2 minute rule for getting all those little things, that unecessarily clog up our already too full to do lists and add weight on our subconscious, done and off our plate. We decided to extend it out a little bit to 5 minutes as it’s more realistic in terms of getting all those household niggles done, so here it is, in a nutshell:
“If it can be done in 5 minutes then do it NOW.”
Don’t be fooled by its simplicity. If done consistently, this rule is a life changer (I’m telling you from experience here that it has changed my life, especially since mummy brain after two kids which has left me rather forgetful, and our clients have also told us how much of a difference it makes)!
I have also successfully used this type of rule when dealing with emails and other work-related tasks. My colleagues are baffled by my efficiency. Let’s keep this between ourselves okay?
Happy getting it done week to you all,
PS The photo is by Shira – check out her great blogpost for another take on the 5 minute rule which is a bit more like our “Just Start” rule but also a great way to get going.
I love this rule. In my past life as a Head of Department in a high school, I always used this concept when my staff came with a request. My basis was if I didn’t do it now I would forget. My staff loved that their needs were dealt with immediately and I didn’t build any further on my to do list. Win, win! I’m a bit more relaxed now I’m retired and have more time. Time to spend 15 minutes on a 5 minute job.
what a great take on the 5minute rule! I also like the idea of taking longer time for a small job and enjoying it.