We all procrastinate—some more than others. Whether it’s tidying the house, starting on that assignment, or cooking a decent, healthy meal, many of us put things off because we feel too tired, time poor or overwhelmed. There are so many things needing our attention in this busy world that at times, some of the more important things get pushed away.

How many times have you got to the end of another busy day and thought: “I can’t be bothered cooking—let’s do takeaways again.” Or: “I feel so depressed because the house is such a tip!” So many of us are just getting through the grind of the day—yet each day we’re feeling more dejected because of the growing to-do list just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

That’s where the 5-minute rule can work wonders. I’ll give you an example. You come home; you’re exhausted; if you’ve got kids, they’re cranky; you’re starving and so are they. You reach for the chips and cake and everyone tucks in. The kids are happy because their tummies are full, but you feel sick because you’ve eaten most of the packet of chips yourself and two slices of cake. Then you remember being told about the 5 minute rule—just 5 minutes out of your day to plan some healthier snacks to have instead of junk food. You set the timer on the stove or on your phone for 5 minutes; you google ‘healthy snacks’ and you come up with your top 10 most delicious, easy healthy food items that you’re going to have available from now on. You write a list. All this takes just 5 minutes! You then find you have the motivation to buy your healthy items at the local market or supermarket and you’re ready to go. The following week you get home and you’ve got chopped veges in the fridge with hummus and other delicious dips. You all tuck in and you feel so much healthier.

Then you realize the kitchen is a mess but it feels too overwhelming to tidy. Ah, you remember the 5-minute rule again. You set the timer for just 5 minutes! It’s such a short amount of time, you don’t feel hard done by tidying up. You are so engrossed in your task that the timer goes off and you feel like you can keep on going!

So, give the 5-minute rule a try. It is such a small amount of time out of your day, but it can massively help to change your life for the better.

 

Photo by Luke Michael on Unsplash

© Jane Gabites Psychology 2019.

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