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Procrastination is a growing issue that plagues many people. Research has found this bad habit has more than quadrupled in the last 30 years, and 26 percent of the population can be defined as chronic procrastinators. In the long run, it can negatively affect your career, personal life and even your health. Fortunately, there’s a simple hack called the “two-minute rule” that can eliminate or drastically minimize procrastination.

How it Works

It’s simple. If there is a task that you need to complete that can be done within two minutes, go ahead and do it now. Rather than deliberating whether or not to do something, just take care of it right away as long as it takes a maximum of two minutes. By getting into this habit, you’ll quickly find it offers some significant benefits, including the following.

Saves Time By Not Having to Plan for It

When you think about it, it’s far more effective to complete a task right away rather than waiting until later. It means you don’t have to plan for it later and work it into your schedule. Not to mention, you end up using much less mental energy.

Let’s say you need to send an email to a friend or colleague. You’re way better off taking care of it immediately, rather than planning to do it later today or tomorrow. Then you’re free to move on to other, often more enjoyable things.

You Won’t Forget to Do It Later

There are no guarantees that you’ll remember to complete a task if you wait until later. In some cases, an important action will be completely overlooked, which could have some disastrous consequences. Doing it now means you definitely won’t forget.

Increases Efficiency

Author, writer and teacher James Clear offers a great quote on the two-minute rule. He says, “Once you start doing something, it’s easier to continue doing it. I love the two-minute rule because it embraces the ideas that all sorts of good things happen once you get started.”

By getting things in motion, it’s easier to be more productive and efficient, which can carry over to other areas of your life and creates a positive cycle.

Shows Others You Care

When you take time out of your day to do something right away (like sending an email), it tells others you value them. This can play a part in impressing an employer or colleague or simply showing you’re not a selfish person.

Don’t let procrastination prevent you from getting important things done. Using the two-minute rule is incredibly simple, but can create some night-and-day changes in your life.

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