‘The Five Minute Rule, if you thinking it is something incredibly hard that needs years of practice, then you are wrong. The Five Minute Rule is a simple method to beat procrastination. Anybody can follow this technique and can start practising now.
Work on hand can be exciting or troublesome, depending on what it is. If it is something that you like to do, then the experience probably will be a good one. Maybe for that sound experience, we favour doing that work.
However, there are some responsibilities that we tend to ignore till the deadline is near. Although, it may be not that hard (maybe easier) comparing to the work you enjoy. Then why this bias?
A possible answer to the question is because you have bad feelings related to that work. Submitting an assignment with which you have a previous bad experience when the teacher scolded you and instructed you to redo the whole thing again. Or when your boss humiliated you in front of everybody because of a bad presentation. Then the feeling related to that work become bitter. Whenever the same task comes to you, a fear of humiliation makes your mind procrastinate on that task.
Why We Procrastinate?
I think that’s why our brain doesn’t forget that not great emotion and restricts us from doing that work again. Instead, it focuses on the things we enjoy. Like chatting with friends, playing video games or painting a reticularly complicated picture!
Painting, yes, if you get compliments for your art, then that good emotion will make you draw. I think for that sound emotion, our brain wants to do it more, to feel it again. So that’s why a presentation might seem to you mundane, but a complicated painting not!
(I also think that it is a reason we develop talent, but that is for another article.)
Then what to do to prevent this and make ourselves do the work we are procrastinating for ages?
There are many tips, but today I will tell you about the five-minute rule. With this simple method, you can trick your brain to does something that it does not want to.
What is The Five Minute Rule?
It is a simple method that Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom mentioned. According to this rule, if something is troubling you and it is becoming difficult to start doing the task, do it for five minutes. Yes, that’s the rule. It is so trivial that this article may seem a joke to you. But actually, it is not.
Let’s say there are two choices in front of you; the first one is to create the presentation for five minutes. And the second one is to the same task for one hour. If there is no obligation attached, you don’t need to complete the work in five minutes, and nobody will humiliate you for the unfinished work. Which one do you choose?
In most of the cases, the first one. It is so simple you only have to prepare your presentation for five minutes. That’s how you will not trigger any fear and start doing the work. You’ve conquered the first and the most crucial step to beat procrastination; getting started.
Now, if the work interests you, then continue for more than five minutes. If not, then don’t do it more. I know, I know, you are thinking that, how will you possibly complete the work then? It is easy, don’t do only one session but many five minutes sessions.
Divide your work into small pieces and do it in different periods. That’s how you not only conquered the fear of the task but also beat procrastination and start doing the work. And I also think that, once you overcome procrastination by persuading your mind, you’ll not limit yourself to only five minutes. Time will pass, and maybe you’ll do the work in one session.
The most important thing to beat procrastination is to calm the fear monster. Don’t let it wake up in your mind and eat the morale. If you say to your brain that you’ve to do this work for hours to finish it, that will create noise and wake up the monster. But when the timeframe is small, you can easily persuade the brain to do the work, and it will not make any noise.
The Five Minute Rule is a simple yet effective way to beat procrastination and do work productively. Use this technique, and don’t forget to share your experience in the comment section.
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Thank You 🙂