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The 20 Minute Rule

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

How do you trick yourself into doing tasks you don’t want to do ...

I learned this at an early age.

I remember being in high school sitting in my basketball coaches office complaining about not wanting to run lines.

He looked at me and said “what can you do in 60 seconds....”

He continued “think how fast 60 seconds goes by, if you can sit for 60 seconds, you can sit for 2 mins then 5 mins. If you can run for 60 seconds you can run for 2 mins then 5 then 10. 60 seconds flies by. Just commit to 60 secs.”

It got me thinking. Time is fleeting and if you focus on doing something for a short amount of time, you’ll forget about the time and be able to do something longer.

Often times when I’m too tired to go to the gym or do a demanding task I’ll implement the “20 min rule.”

If I’m still tired or grumpy or (insert perceived excuse) after 20 mins of doing the activity (work emails, cleaning, being at an event, exercising) then I have full permission to quit or leave.

This creates choice and eliminates the fear of failure while allowing the flexibility of doing what you need at the time. This also creates security, builds trust with your inner instincts while creating a pattern of stamina/ resilience/ while cultivating self respect, ownership and choice.

The interesting thing is rarely do I pull the plug after 20 mins because I see how much I’ve accomplished in just 20 mins and how easy it is to keep going... welcome to the beauty of momentum and flow states.

So try it, what can you stick to for 20 mins?

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