The Five Minute Rule

I have a love/hate relationship with this rule.

I love it because it helps me to avoid cluttering my brain with “to dos” that never seem to get to “done.” The annoying little tasks that are so insignificant that they never rise to the top of the list.

I hate it because now that this is a habit, I just can’t seem to ignore it, no matter how busy (or lazy!) I am.

The rule in question?

If the thing that needs to be done, will take only 5 minutes or less, do it now.


Here’s an example: The floor lamp in the living room needs a new bulb. Instead of changing it then, you tell yourself that you “don’t have time” to stop to do it right now.

But you stop to write it down... 

Where’s that pen again? Or should I put it on that reminder app on my phone? But I always loose paper, and I’ve never once remembered to use the app since I installed it. Never mind, I’ll just remember.

Then the next day...

Forgot to change the bulb last night. I’ve gotta remember that next time.

Then the next, next day... 

Can’t anyone else around here change a light bulb?

By now, you could have changed the bulb a couple times.

Clear the brain clutter. If it takes less than 5 minutes, do it now. Your brain will thank you for it.