If you’re like most people, you probably have a lot of things you want to get done, but just have trouble getting started. Goals for your career, learning a new language, getting back to the gym, or even something as simple as reading that book that’s been sitting on the corner of your desk for two months now. If you’re a chronic procrastinator, you’re familiar with the pain and stress that goes hand in hand with leaving things to the last minute. 

First, stop punishing yourself for procrastinating. The more stressed out you are, the harder it’ll be to get your work done. Second, I suggest using what James Clear calls the “2-Minute Rule.” James Clear is an American author of a fantastic book called “Atomic Habits”.

In his book, James states, “When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.” Nearly anything you’re struggling to get started with, can begin with spending just two minutes to do. Hopefully this will at least get you started with your project, and begin a new habit that you are no longer a procrastinator. You’ll find that nearly any habit can be scaled down into a two-minute version.

• “Read a book” becomes “Read one page”

• “Learn a new language” becomes “Research online solutions for learning a new language”

• “Walk 3 miles” becomes “Put on my tennis shoes.”

• “Clean the house” becomes “Clean one bathroom.”

The point is to make your tasks as easy as possible to start. If you tie your tennis shoes, grab your keys, and walk out the front door, you’re probably going to walk or run at least a mile. There’s a good chance you’ll even want to finish what you started. If you clean one bathroom, you’ll feel good about that small accomplishment and possibly finish the whole house. Worst case, you’ll have that one bathroom cleaned.