Recently, in the midst of a crazy (awesome) July, I moved into a new one bedroom apartment. Moving into my own place is something that deserves a post of its own, as it’s a major milestone in my Boston adventure. But this post isn’t about that. This is about something I’ve taken to heart during my unpacking phase that has increased my happiness: the one minute rule.
The one minute rule is simple: if I see something that needs
doing, and that thing will take one minute or less to do, I do it.
Why have I been happier because of it? Simple. There’s less clutter, more things seem to get done faster, and – bonus! – I feel more moved in.
For example, Tuesday morning, I was getting ready for work, normal routine. As I was walking out of my bedroom, I didn’t like where my dresser was, and — since it was still empty from my move — I dragged it across the room. Took me less than a minute, but boy did it increase my happiness. And it enabled me to do another quick one minute project when I got home Tuesday night: unbox the pictures that sit on my dresser. Just like that, another box gone!
Sure, there are projects that will take more than one minute, like setting up my computer speakers (5-10 minutes), setting up my Wii and Playstation 3 (15 minutes), unboxing all my books (30 years). But the little things! The ones that usually get in the way of big projects — these I can accomplish in the midst everyday life.
I definitely recommend trying the one minute rule. And experiment with expanding it too, when you have more time. Maybe it could be the five minute rule one night! It’s great for those things you see and you think “uggghhh, I’ve been meaning to do that forever” and then do something, letting it remain undone, because it’s too hard.
I used to let forever go on way too long. Not anymore.
PS – Credit where credit is due! The “one minute rule” originally came from a post on the Happiness Project blog. Definitely check Gretchen out, she’s got great ideas.