#289 “It’ll Only Take a Minute”

Yah, Right.

Here’s another gem from our Procrastination-Fighting SuperResearcher, Tim Pychyl.

He tells us that one of the most dangerous things we can tell ourselves when we’re trying to get important stuff done is, “It’ll only take a minute.”

“I’m just going to update my Facebook account. It will only take a minute.”


You’ve fallen into the rabbit hole of nonsense and hours have passed.

Tim shares a super funny story of a guy who was “supposed” to be studying but then wanted to check something out online so he did a quick search. “I mean,” he says, “It LITERALLY only takes a minute to do it.”

Our young friend does his quick search and then clicks around and… AN HOUR LATER he’s on Wikipedia reading about some weird disease some celebrity has and he can’t remember where he started.

That ever happen to you? (Me, too.)


Today’s +1.

What’s your “It’ll only take a minute” slippery slope to silliness habit?

Pro Tip: Flex your willpower muscles and refuse to give in. Better yet, create an “If – Then Implementation Intention” so you’re ready for it: If I feel tempted to do X, then I will do Y.

Even better: Bury your smartphone in your closet, unplug the wi-fi and do whatever else you need to do pre-commitment-wise so you’re ready to go deep!

Then wire that into a routine so your basal ganglia takes care of biz.

Procrastination begone!