Overcome Procrastination: The 2-Minute Technique for Building Momentum

By Victor Macias,

Published on May 10, 2023   —   1 min read

Photo by David Iskander / Unsplash

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits has a great method for building any habit. Make it so small that it’s laughable if you don’t do it. Want to go to the gym, but are lacking motivation? Commit to tying your gym shoes and driving to the parking lot. Want to write a 300-page book? Commit to writing for 5 minutes per day. The act of starting reduces friction and builds momentum to keep you going.

A few years back when I was learning how to meditate, I started by meditating for just one minute per day.  After showering, I set a timer for one minute and meditated. After one week, I increased from one to two minutes. After a few weeks, I was meditating consistently for 20 minutes per day. The act of starting was enough to build the momentum to build a new behavior.

Now take this concept and apply it to your own work. Is there a project you’re dreading? Is there a priority you keep putting off? Make it so small, so small that it’s laughable if you don’t do it. Seriously, set a timer for 2 minutes and get started.

Here are a few more ideas:

  • Want to work out > Drive to the gym parking lot.
  • Want to write a 1000-word article > Write for just 2 minutes
  • Want to film videos for social media > Take your phone out and talk for 30 seconds (save the video to your drafts)
  • Want to learn a new song > Practice one chord per day

With procrastination, the biggest barrier is just starting. By using the 2-minute rule, you'll lower the stakes and take action which will build momentum. If you're stuck just focus on starting.

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