The 1-minute rule will revolutionize your life

Everyone has a busy life, right? Family commitments, work obligations, and the minutiae of the day to day can get you down pretty fast, and before you know it, your alarm is going off, and it’s time to start it all over again. So are you ready to make your life simpler, smarter, and easier? Luckily, there’s an easy way to do it: the 1-minute rule.

What is the 1-minute rule?

Gretchen Rubin is an author and self-proclaimed expert on happiness, so she knows what she’s talking about when she says that she’s developed one little trick to making our hectic lives better and brighter. Lucky for us, you don’t need to be a famous, published writer or a happiness expert of any type to be able to understand and use her advice.

Rubin’s 1-minute rule is simple: if a job will take less than one minute, do it immediately. That’s it. And it may not seem like much, but Rubin and her ever-growing list of 1-minute rule aficionados claim that its impact is nothing short of revolutionary. While it might take a little bit of practice, even in your first days as a 1-minute rule practitioner, you’ll probably be able to see its impact, too.

If a job will take less than one minute, do it immediately

Picture it: you just got home from work. There’s a pile of laundry on the floor that needs sorting, dishes on the counter that need to be loaded into the dishwasher, and you need to feed the dog. Easy tasks, but boy, can they feel overwhelming when there are so many of them. However, by simply following the 1-minute rule and doing the little jobs as soon as you realize they need doing, you’re not allowing them to build up and overwhelm you. You’re taking control of the situation and your life, and before you know it, your time will be your own again.

How can I actually use the 1-minute rule?

You’re in luck  you can implement the 1-minute rule whenever and wherever you want. It might take a little bit of practice to figure out what tasks exactly will fall within this category, but here are some major areas where the 1-minute rule might really help.



How often do we see emails piling up in our inboxes? Sometimes it seems like you could take an entire 24-hour day and still not have time to respond to them all. But using the 1-minute rule can make communicating less of a hassle, simply because you’ll be weeding out the quick-and-easy messages and focusing your time on what matters. See an email that only needs a one-word answer? 1-minute that baby and forget about it.

Household duties

I know you probably don’t want to wash the saucepan as soon as dinner is done. But it won’t take long, and I promise you’ll feel better knowing that you don’t have to deal with it in the morning. Plus, if you wash a couple of dishes as soon as you use them or notice a pile building up, you won’t have to dedicate most of your precious weekend to household chores. I’d say that’s a win.


The 1-minute rule won’t just make you a better employee and household cleaner; it might actually make you a happier, healthier person. These 1-minute tasks might seem small, but each time you accomplish one, you’ll get a surge of I’m-awesome productivity energy. Whether you use that energy to get some more intense work done or use it as justification to sit on the couch and binge some Netflix, you’ll feel good about what you’ve accomplished.

A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101:

The 1-minute rule will de-stress you, but you know what will also cut down on daily frustration? Having a phone that works forever.

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