The 3-Minute Rule

Any action that takes less than three minutes to declutter?—Do it! It’s liberating to embrace the phrase: “Less than three will set you free.” Some have a one-minute rule or two-minute rule. In my case, there is not much in my life that I can get done in this short amount of time.

Far too often, we postpone something that takes less than three minutes to complete. The 3-Minute Rule will help set you free. What happens when we don’t perform these small tasks?

  1. We forget it. It never pops back into mind, and it later causes problems. For example, turning off our water pipes so they don’t freeze. Turning off our automatic lawn sprinklers when it rains the night before. Responding to an important email. Sending a quick “thank you” text. Dropping a Valentine’s Day card into the mailbox.
  2. We can’t forget about it. It’s there, nagging and draining mental capacity for the task at hand.
  3. If it’s a quick win and we don’t do it, consider it a long loss. For example, if it will take me three minutes to remove a giant weed from the yard, that’s my quick win. But if I don’t do it, and see it day after day as it continues to grow, it becomes a long loss.

Many save items for their children or grandchildren, including china, desks, chairs, paintings, and the list goes on. When my grandparents moved from their house to the assisted living facility, they were shocked that I didn’t want much of their belongings, even nice things.

Instead, everyone in my family wanted our grandparents’ memories and mementos, photographs, family heirlooms. But nobody wanted their stuff. So, the key is to ask your family members what they want well ahead of time. Consider a) if they do want it, give it to them now, and b) if they cannot see wanting it, immediately donate it to charity or auction it online.



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For more information about the 3-minute rule, download the Super U podcast.

About the Author: Erik Qualman

Often called a Digital Dale Carnegie and The Tony Robbins of Tech, Erik Qualman is a #1 Best Selling Author and Motivational Keynote Speaker that has spoken in 49 countries.

His Socialnomics work has been featured on 60 Minutes to the Wall Street Journal and used by the National Guard to NASA. His book Digital Leader propelled him to be voted the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling. Qualman is a sitting professor at Harvard & MIT's edX labs.

His latest book What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube is a Pulitzer Prize nominated work.
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