The Two-Minute Rule of James Clear

Recently, I came across this “rule” by James Clear in his book, Atomic Habits. It’s about building a habit with a higher success rate and killing that procrastination.

To explain it briefly, instead of planning to do a routine on a bigger scale upfront, a small step consistently gives a higher chance that this practice would carry over for a longer period of time and become a habit.


From “Create a video tutorial about photography every week” to “Write a one-sentence/paragraph tip”

From “Finishing the book” to “Read 1 page before sleeping”

From “Run for 1KM” to “Run for 2 minutes”

From “Learn video editing in one go” to “Edit for 2 minutes”

From “Do a 1-hour live stream” to “Show up on a live stream even if it’s just for 2 minutes”

Making it easy

Having a task that is too difficult to do or having so many steps before it can be done can be a hindrance for you in finishing the job.

Taking that small step but consistently doing it makes your mind and body adapt to the task and increasing the difficulty level or volume every now and then wouldn’t be that hard.

Adaptation to the new habit

One of the objectives here is for us to adapt to the change instead of being forcibly introduced to the new habit that we want to do.

The easier the things that we want to do, it’s more likely that we can adapt and get the job done smoothly without any friction.

It’s the “System” that you’re building

You have to standardize before you can optimize. — James Clear

That small, short task is not there for nothing. We inherently and subconsciously adapt to that bigger goal.

Instead of thinking of it as “uploading a video every week because I’m a content creator”, you will now see it as “I’m a content creator who uploads consistently”.

Instead of “I need to read a book to gain knowledge”, it becomes “I’m a person who loves reading books”.

Instead of “I need to edit video within 2 hours and it’s killing me”, now it’s “I can edit a video within 2 hours”.

It’s the cumulative experience that you’ve acquired after that 2-minute routine every day or every other day. It’s the familiarity and habit that you’ve been built to confidently say that you can finish a certain task efficiently and easier than before.

I am inspired by this “rule” by James Clear introduced in his book, Atomic Habits”. I hope you are, too.

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