The 24 Hour Rule

by Lisa Woodruff

Sep 29, 2017 | Episode 196 | 39:11

On the podcast this week, I introduce you to a rule that I impose upon myself that I call the “24 Hour Rule."

The 24 Hour Rule is going to free you up from all the things that you might do, should do, could do, or want to do someday. Instead, it’ll teach you to focus on today.

Warning: Please listen to the full podcast episode! You may think at first that the 24 hour rule is a little crazy, but by the end I hope I’ve convinced you to give it a try.

A Bit Of Background

The 24 Hour Rule is something that I developed for myself after I’d been doing the Sunday Basket™  for a few years.

Why? Well, I found that a couple of items in my Sunday Basket™ stayed every week!

This goes against the rule of the Sunday Basket™, that you empty the Sunday Basket™ completely on Sunday. Then you hold up every single item – every piece of paper, mail, slash pocket – and you ask yourself, “Can this wait until next Sunday?”

If it can, then it goes right back into the Sunday Basket™. At the end of your time working on your Sunday Basket™, you have identified the items that need to be acted on before next Sunday. All the rest can wait.

I Started To Drown In My WOW Ideas

I’m an ideas person. Ideas come to me all the time and I get so excited. I’m a WOW person and not a HOW person – I usually leave the details to someone else.

I love to write down my ideas or print them off and then put them in my Sunday Basket™. I realized that all of these WOW ideas were the items in my Sunday Basket™ that were staying each week. I was just accumulating a lot of ideas, but not necessarily implementing them.

In other words, I was drowning in my own ideas and becoming overwhelmed. I had to stop stockpiling all of my should/could/someday ideas in a physical location because it was wasting my time instead of inspiring me.

To overcome this problem, I created the 24 Hour Rule.

The 24 Hour Rule Explained

My 24-hour rule is pretty simple.

When I find a great idea, I ask myself,  “Can I do this within 24 hours?”

The 24 Hour Rule Explained | Organize 365

Now, of course, there are many things that you can’t implement fully in 24 hours, but here’s another way to look at this…

We all have times when we come up with a juicy idea that we dive right into and end up spending 2 hours (sometimes even more!) on the internet researching our idea. Do you agree?

Most likely, you didn’t have those 2 hours when you first got your idea, but you made time within 24 hours to flesh it out. Then you decided if it was worth pursuing now, later, or not at all.

My point is that, if an idea is that good and it moves you that much, then you will take immediate action on it.

All of the other someday ideas can be disregarded right now. Don’t write them down or print them off. Just let them be.

As soon as I adapted the 24 Hour Rule, I found that if I really wanted to do something awesome for my business, my home, or my family, I could almost always start to take action within 24 hours.

Take Action Within 24 Hours | Organize 365

A Recent Example Where I Applied The 24 Hour Rule

A recent example of my coming up with an idea and applying it within 24 hours is the fundraising appeal that I am currently running for Avondale House in Houston, Texas.

I was completely glued to the news on Hurricane Harvey – reading and watching everything about it on my phone. I felt so bad for those affected that I thought there must something I can do to help.

That’s when I came up with the idea of fundraising for Avondale House. You can read all about it and contribute here. Great news, we’ve raised over $2,000 at the time of recording this podcast! Thank you so much to everyone for contributing.

Now you see that the idea of helping out with Hurricane Harvey relief was so important to me that if I had waited, I would never have taken action.

Your To-Do List Is Never-Ending

The reality is that as soon as you knock things off your to-do list, other things come onto it. That is why it’s a to-do list, and not a to-done list – it’s never going to end!

As soon as you come to terms with your to-do list, it will give you greater perspective on organizing your to-dos, prioritizing, and a more realistic view of life.

There is only so much you can do in your day and I really, really want you to be able to use some of your free time for whatever you want to do.

This is why a key piece of advice that I have for you is to only have 3 big things – or what I call rocks – that you want to accomplish each day. Keep things realistic and don’t constantly chase the impossible.

I’m going to cover this concept in more detail in future podcast episodes so stay tuned.

Your To-Do List Is Never-Ending | Organize 365

The Sunday Basket™

Most things come back to the Sunday Basket™ because I truly love the Sunday Basket™.

The Sunday Basket™ takes time to set up and get used to using. But when you’ve been implementing the Sunday Basket™ for 2 months, I’m going to bet that you find you have a lot more time back in your week. That time comes from no longer looking for paper items and trying to remember things, and from being more organized.

It’s amazing how much time you spend just with switching tasks. Did you know you can spend up to 20 minutes switching tasks and recovering from getting distracted? That’s a lot of time!

And that’s why, I always encourage you to put your big ideas in your Sunday Basket™.

But let’s take it a step further and always apply the 24 Hour Rule to each and every one of those ideas. I suggest that when you review your ideas every week, you should assess whether you will act on it in 24 hours. If not, throw it away or review it again in 100 days.

I challenge you today…

What is something that you have on your someday list that you can eliminate?

I challenge you to get rid of it – go ahead and lighten your load!

Now, is that big idea you have right now actionable within 24 hours?

Then, I encourage you to start pursuing it now!

Are you interested in knowing more about the Sunday Basket™?

You can attend a virtual class here or join the Sunday Basket™ Workshop Licensing Program by clicking here!Join me on facebook | Organize 365