the one minute rule

Question:  how much time do you spend stressed out by piles of paper in your life?
Answer:  if you are like me, probably a lot.

For some reason, papers seem to gather in my house.  A pile of unpaid bills mixed up with coupons and take out menus on the kitchen counter.  A jumble of children’s drawings and notes from meetings on the ottoman in the bedroom.  A pile of unopened mail on the table by the front door.  These papers, while seeming innocuous, are very good at needling me.  Reminding me of the things I need to get done.  These piles of paper serve as a metaphor for me- silent reminders of the (many) things that are going undone.

They can also make me feel out of control.  Wherever I look, my eyes seem to land on yet another thing on my to-do list.  And just like that, an out of control day begins to feel like an out of control life.

When reading Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, I came across the One-Minute Rule.  It is simple. If a task can be completed in one minute or less, just go ahead and do it.  Hang up your coat.  Pay the credit card bill on your mobile app.  Put the dishes in your dishwasher.  Change the toilet paper roll.

By taking a proactive role on these ‘micro-chores’, I have found myself feeling much more empowered.  The volume of visual reminders of things I have yet to do decreases dramatically.

I have also found that some of these simple tasks have more of a payoff than I would believe.  Making the bed.  Flossing.  Recycling the junk mail, unopened.  For some reason, knowing that I have done these tasks make me feel more in control of my life, more competent.  More adult.

What one minute tasks could you take on today?  Try a couple- and see how you feel!

So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?
Ecclesiastes 3:22minute