Michelle Groskopf

About This Equilibrium Recipe

Source: 5-Minute Rule, Kevin Systrom

Extra Time Needed: 5 Minutes

Ingredients: Your journal, a timer

Min Experiment Commitment: 1 day

Potential Benefits: Focus, flow, productivity

The Equilibrium Recipe


  1. Wondering how to tackle everyday procrastination?

  2. At the beginning of each day, make a list of the 3 most important things you need to do that day

  3. If at any point you begin to lose steam, take a 5 minute break

  4. When you return, set a timer for 5 minutes, and make a deal with yourself to fully commit to the next task for at least 5 minutes

    Tip: There’s no pressure to commit beyond five minutes, but once you start, you’ll find that mentally beginning the task is half the battle won

Why This Recipe works

“Most procrastination is caused by either fear or conflict,” says Christine Li, a clinical psychologist specializing in procrastination. Even if we’re motivated to accomplish a task, fear—of failure, criticism, or stress—pits us against ourselves. We want to finish the project, but we also don’t want our fear to become reality. “This conflict makes it seem like it would be unwise or even impossible to move forward,” says Li, “which explains why we sometimes procrastinate even when it makes no sense to do so.”

And so the five-minute rule lowers that inhibition, lulling us into the idea that we can dip quickly into a project with no strings attached, according to Julia Moeller, a postdoctoral research associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. “Thus, the person reserves her right to reconsider her engagement after five minutes,” says Moeller, “which might increase the feeling of being in control and making an autonomous decision, rather than feeling forced to do something the person really absolutely does not want to do.” (Read Full Article @ Quartz at Work)

Your turn! Integrate this hack into your week and track your productivty. Don’t forget to take a picture of your journal and share it below!