This week, as I sat at my cluttered dining room table scrolling through Facebook on my phone, I came across this interesting Buzzfeed article, I Lived By The One-Minute Rule For An Entire Week! More out of boredom than interest, I tapped on it. Turns out the One-Minute rule is the rule that: "If it takes less than a minute, just do it right now." Huh. Sounds like something my mom would say. According to Natalie Brown, the writer of this particular post, she has made small changes throughout the week like putting things away right after she's used it and making her bed in a minute, as well as bigger changes like starting out to put away a few dishes but then decided to just wash them all instead because she's already kind of doing the chore (though that one was driven more by laziness...). She stated at the end of the article that she will continue to abide by the one-minute rule.
I clicked off of the article after reading it and looked up from my phone. On my table, there were 2 dishes from dinner, a bunch of books and papers, two open folders of rep and scenes, and a ton (and I mean, a TON!) of colored pens. It was a total mess. So thinking of what I'd just read, I thought, "Well, closing my folders and putting them back on the shelf takes less than a minutes, and I don't even have to get up." And then, once that was done, I thought, "Hmm. I could just scoop up these pens and put them in a jar." So I did that also. "Just stack the books and papers on your shelf so the table looks kind of clean." Done. "Now the dirty plates are bothering me. They're taking up the whole table." So I brought the plates over to the sink and plopped them down. And then, because I was already there, I put on some gloves and scrubbed them and put them in the dishwasher. And, because my gloves were already on, I decided to scrub the stove. In 10 minutes, I'd cleaned my whole kitchen and dining room.
"Well, that worked brilliantly, and now I'm in a cleaning mood!" I thought to myself. I walked around my apartment looking for other things to clean. By the end of the night, I'd done 2 loads of laundry and cleaned my bathroom. This trick is awesome!
No, granted, it's not really how this trick is supposed to work. It's really for those little annoying things that you could do now but usually leave it for later. The next three days, I actually used the trick how it was intended to be used. For the first time in my life, the bed was made every day, the bathroom sink was wiped down at the end of the night, and things I've used returned to their homes after their useful fieldtrips.
So, I'm here to tell you, try it. Just try it if you're like me and get annoyed by the never-ending mini chores. Just take one minute and put that pen back, or load your laundry, or throw out that take-out from 4 days ago. Future you will be so much more productive and happier because past you decided to take one minute to do what we all hate to do.
P.S. If you are a naturally neat person, and you don't need the one-minute rule to be productive and keep the house clean, well... we're not all amazing like you, but we're working on it.