Why I Have a Half-Hour Rule

There are 24 hours, 1440 minutes, or 86 400 seconds in a day. I have decided to take half an hour, 30 minutes or 1800 seconds of that time to do things I don’t want to do. I set a timer and complete my list of tasks for a half hour straight, then I’m done and don’t have to worry about it again until the next day. For me, this half hour consists of various things:

  • Emails

  • Calling places to book appointments

  • Stretching

  • Cleaning

  • Putting away laundry

If you’re anything like me, these and many other tasks are probably the last thing you want to do. Thinking about them gives you a sense of dread as well as the urge to do anything else but accomplish those tasks. Your half hour can include anything from the list above or other things that either need to get done (emails, appointments, errands) or you feel you should or want to do in order to improve your sense-of-self and your environment (stretching, light cardio, tidying up your workspace).


You may be thinking right now: if I usually procrastinate these tasks then who’s to say that I won’t procrastinate the half hour? I try to reason with myself and say that if I can binge-watch a whole season of a show on Netflix in a day or two, then I can take the equivalent of one episode to get things done and feel like an accomplished adult. The great thing about this rule is that once you get started, sometimes the half hour becomes even longer without you realizing it.


This rule, though, doesn’t really apply to academic tasks. Instead, it applies to everyday things that we may feel too tired for after already completing homework or during study breaks. I can truthfully say that since implementing this rule in my life, I feel less stressed about non-academic factors and I feel like I have a better handle on my life.


Also, this method might not work for everyone. Some may prefer to complete one task from their list at a time in between study sessions or TV episodes. However, if you are like me and have a difficult time doing anything that makes you the slightest bit uncomfortable, or that requires more emotional effort than you think you can give, then this rule may help you in accomplishing daily tasks that would otherwise go untouched.