The One-Minute Rule Is the Best Thing to Happen to Your To-Do List

to do list1

Ah, your to-do list: No matter how many things you cross off per day, you still tend to feel like you’re slacking—or at the very least, not accomplishing as much as you would like. That’s why we love this quickie trick from author and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin to help you always feel like you’re making progress: It’s called the one-minute rule.

What’s the one-minute rule? The idea is that before you set out to focus on bigger items on your to-do list, tackle all the tasks you can complete in 60 seconds or less.

Interesting. Like what? For example, you can hang up your coat in under a minute. You can also toss annoying piles of junk mail, load a couple of dishes in the dishwasher or put a pair of dirty jeans in the laundry. Done and done.

Hey, that actually feels pretty productive. Yep! And by getting those small, nagging tasks taken care of, your life will feel more serene and less chaotic, but perhaps most importantly, it will give you a greater sense of control so you can focus on more impactful items. (Like that great American novel you’ve been planning to write.)

Rachel Bowie Headshot

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...