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What Is the 2-Hour Rule and Will It Make Me More Creative?

Your grand plan: To write your debut novel by the end of the year. But you’re a busy lady and whenever you allot a day—or full weekend—to sink into the work, you’re hit with a serious creativity block and have a hard time staying on course. (Hey, might as well spend the time checking email or cleaning the house if you can’t put any words on the page, right?) That’s where the two-hour rule comes in.

What is the two-hour rule? Basically, it’s the idea that you should chunk any creative work into two-hour increments of time.

OK, but why two hours? In most cases, you can step away from the real world—work, life, social media, kids—for 120 minutes without the world falling apart. That same amount of time also gives you ample opportunity to sink into a project and achieve a deep level of focus while keeping in mind that, at the end of two hours, your attention span with anything typically starts to wane.

And here’s the kicker: You don’t have to be glued to a laptop screen or sitting at a desk forcing yourself to work for those two hours of time. Instead, you can do anything that helps you feel creatively charged. (For example, meditating, taking a walk, sitting down outdoors and putting a pen to paper—whatever works.)

What are you waiting for? Set a timer for two hours. You just mapped out the plot of your first-ever book.

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