• Eve Arnold

Productivity Tips — The Two Day Rule

Miss it once that’s an accident, miss it twice, that’s unacceptable.

Photo by Florian Schmidinger on Unsplash

We all have ambitions. Hopes of becoming rich and famous. The cliche dream is to live in a fancy house with swimming pool and games room to match the four car drive. It’ll obviously have to be somewhere hot so Instagram photos by the pool will make people extra jealous. There will be marble floors, high ceilings, white walls, obscure art. You? Well you will be dressed in the latest designer brands, shiny watch (of course) and always very well put together. You’ll wake up, go for your morning jog, followed by a healthy smoothie by the pool with latest productivity book (preferably the one you’ve just published).

Our realities though are much different. Most of the time. We are most likely to live in a flat or terrace house, the decor perhaps the same as it was when you first bought the place. Breakfast is usually a concoction of whatever you can find since you forgot to do the shopping. The house is a mess, and you barely exercise at a reasonable hour, you most certainly will not be getting up for a morning jog. You read on and off but barely remember the lessons in those books and you try to write but nothing fills the page so the laptop gets closed and off to watch some more Netflix.

Which is fine, there is no right or wrong. Me personally? I want something between the two. This year I’ve been trying to build some decent habits that will get me there. I don’t care for fancy watches or designer clothes but I would like to have a lifestyle that allows me the freedom to do what I want when I want. Both lifestyles are a product of habit.

The problem is when we aspire for the first paragraph and we live like the second. There is no wonder we don’t ful fill our dreams. We don’t have the habits to match the life we want. That leads us to throw ourselves into endless google searches of “How to make passive income” or “how to become rich this year”. Annoyingly, Google throws up related articles about people who have became rich by selling one obscure product on Amazon and we’re hooked. We pin our hopes on becoming an Amazon millionaire but when we are met with boundless product searching, hours of YouTube videos and the prospect of spending all our savings on that ‘one’ product we get disheartened. Getting rich is harder than we think.

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.” Colin Powell

I think, although I am not incredibly successful, the best way to get whatever you want, is to create the habits that will get you there. Once you’ve got the habits, you can lean into them to produce consistently. Once you are producing consistently, over time, the results will come. To become a master, at anything we need to consistently practice, day in day out. It’s not about having one good week and that being it… it’s about good habits over years. That’s how you get success. Because really, if you think about it, there is no other option than to succeed at one point.

The Two-Day Rule

So, with that in mind. I wanted to briefly talk about the two-day rule. The two-day rule helps when trying to do something consistently. A good example is exercise. You might say to yourself, right, I’m going to exercise everyday, 30 minutes a day. I’m committing to that. Whilst it’s pretty ambitious, well depending on where you’re starting from, there will be days that you can’t or don’t want to. You might get 5 days in and feel like you can’t do it today, you’re knackered. That’s when you lean into the 2 day rule. Which is basically, you can miss one day, that’s fine. Missing 2 days though, is not fine. That is against the rules. It can be applied to anything, any habit anywhere. It gives you some lee way if things get really hard but it ensures you stay on track. It shouldn’t be overused. It’s for the times where you feel like you really can’t.


  1. Allows you some rest-bite

  2. Makes sure you don’t go off track

  3. Gives you some structure

Having rules can help us create the habits that will get us to where we want to go. The two-day rule is a good one to start with.

#Growth #Self #Productivity #Work #Habits

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