The two minute rule

“Master the habit of showing up. You have to standardize before you can optimize.” – James Clear 

Somehow at work yesterday I stumbled across an article written by James Clear about procrastination. In it he said that any big goal or habit has a tiny starting point. He gave the example of running a marathon: before you can run a marathon, or even run ten steps, you need to put your shoes on. I was super curious about this and have been experimenting with the idea of breaking down a habit or goal I want to do and applying the tiny step or ‘I only have to do this for two minutes’ rule.

Knowing how bad I am at getting up when my alarm goes off in the morning, I decided to try it this morning and set myself the tiny step of putting my ugg boots on as soon my alarm went off.

Aaaaaand…it actually worked! Once my slippers were on I was up and without an excuse to take them off and get back under the covers. I had time to do my whole morning routine (minus the breakfast. Why eat when you can go on Instagram?)

I also tried it out on a track I’ve been producing and putting off for the past week. One of my goals for this year is to self-produce and mix a track, and it’s felt so daunting I haven’t started experimenting with sounds and synth affects.

Last night though, I put the timer on for five minutes and an hour later I had made progress but more importantly, I’d started.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creativity there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:

That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.’” – W. H. Murray

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