Whenever you come home from a long day at work or school, you were so tired the only things you could find energy to do were mindless life-negating nonsense– television, Netflix, Reddit, Facebook, whatever.
Every night you would somehow find hours of time to do these things (despite being extremely tired).
Replace this time wasting routine with the twenty minute rule. The moment you get home, you force yourself to do at least twenty minutes of one of the things that makes you better, happy and closer one step to you goals.
When people don’t plan, they aren’t ready to take advantage of opportunities that avail themselves, and so they play Angry Birds and watch Netflix because it takes less energy than figuring out something to do at that moment. I call this the “path of least resistance problem.” To make ourselves more sensitive to opportunities that can decidedly improve our lives, we need to structure our routines to make the path of least resistance difficult. One way to do this is the twenty minutes rule.
If we want to do something trivial, something that likely won’t matter in the grand scheme of our lives, like meeting a colleague for lunch, we will pencil a time in our calendars and get it done. But when we want to do something important and enriching, something we know will matter greatly in the grand scheme of our lives, like writing a book or learning a language, we say “I’ll get around to it.” We don’t pencil in the twenty minutes a day necessary to become the person we really want to be. One way to do this is to challenge the impulse to relegate our passions and our ambitions to something our future selves will do down the line.