We improve through repetition. Use the two-minute rule to overcome perfectionism. What can you achieve towards your goal in two minutes?
I find this story to be profoundly inspiring.
On the first day of class, Jerry Uelsmann, a professor at the University of Florida, divided his film photography students into two groups.James Clear
Everyone on the left side of the classroom, he explained, would be in the “quantity” group. They would be graded solely on the amount of work they produced. On the final day of class, he would tally the number of photos submitted by each student. One hundred photos would rate an A, ninety photos a B, eighty photos a C, and so on.
Meanwhile, everyone on the right side of the room would be in the “quality” group. They would be graded only on the excellence of their work. They would only need to produce one photo during the semester, but to get an A, it had to be a nearly perfect image.
At the end of the term, he was surprised to find that all the best photos were produced by the quantity group. During the semester, these students were busy taking photos, experimenting with composition and lighting, testing out various methods in the darkroom, and learning from their mistakes. In the process of creating hundreds of photos, they honed their skills. Meanwhile, the quality group sat around speculating about perfection. In the end, they had little to show for their efforts other than unverified theories and one mediocre photo.
Suitably inspired, I have committed to writing every day and started with a personal journal. Writing is no longer a stranger.
Act to Motivate
“If I were to wait for motivation, I’d sleep all day. By forcing myself to take action, I find the motivation that was missing before.”JD Roth
Apparently something magical happens when your brain knows you are going to write every day regardless. It does not want to waste time and write useless content; hence it goes to work at night while you sleep working on better content.
Seth Godin talks about daily writing with a charming example of Isaac Asimov.
The Two-Minute Rule
Break it down into the smallest unit. James Clear calls this the “two minute rule”. What is the smallest version of what you want to done that you can achieve in two minutes?
Write one sentence.
This is how I began.
I overcame the obstacles to actually sit down and write one sentence. Now it took essentially no additional energy to write a second sentence. Soon enough, I wrote paragraphs.
What can you achieve towards your goal in two minutes?