It Only Takes ‘5 Minutes’ to Be Less Lazy and More Productive

Let’s face it: Humans are inherently lazy, and no matter how driven we are, no one is immune to loving procrastination.

In a post on 99u, My Morning Routine founder Benjamin Spall shares a quick hack that tricks you into being more productive.

Spall writes:

“When it comes to changing habits, I’m a big believer in the semi-famous ‘only five minutes’ approach to getting things done. The logic here is if you tell yourself you’re only going to exercise, write, wash the dishes, or clean your apartment for ‘only five minutes,’ your brain doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on. Nobody can argue with five minutes, including your brain, so it lets you have it.

Of course, what then usually happens is at about the five-minute mark of your task, you start to get into it. You realize it isn’t as hard as you had pegged it to be, and you start to get a taste for it, a taste which will then lead you to wanting to continue with the task.”

So the next time you’re too lazy to do something, make things less overwhelming by telling yourself that you only have five minutes to do it. As we all know, the hardest part is actually starting the work, so if you can trick yourself into at least starting, you’re golden.

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For more about this concept, check out Stanford psychologist BJ Foggs’ TEDx Talk:

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