Here’s How The Two-Hour Rule Can Make You More Creative

Who says you don't have time to be creative?

two-hour rule
Image: @monicawangphoto

As kids, we were always creating — whether it was building sandcastles at the beach or doing finger paintings. Being creative wasn’t something we had to actively think about doing, we just did it. But as we get older, we get so caught up in doing things that pay the bills that we tend to lose touch with that creative side.

It’s a shame, really, as flexing your creativity muscle has been proven to make you healthier, happier and more productive. Not only that, but creative activities are a great way to break up the daily grind and get out of a rut. The good news is, you don’t have to dedicate hours each day in order to reap the benefits. By adopting what’s called the two-hour rule, you can easily fit your creative pursuits into your everyday life.

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Here’s how it works. You break any creative tasks into two-hour increments — no more or no less. The idea is that smaller chunks, like 15 to 30 minutes aren’t enough time to really get stuck into a creative task and achieve a state of flow. On the flip side of the coin, your attention begins to wane after about two hours of any task. So, two hours is that sweet spot where it’s enough time to make significant progress, but the house isn’t going to burn down if you step away for a while.

You don’t even necessarily have to be working on a project to practice the two-hour rule. You can do anything that gets those creative juices flowing — whether that’s going for a walk in nature or listening to inspiring music. It’s still going to work absolute wonders for your mood and productivity.

So, whether you’re going to start that book you’ve always wanted to write or get back into painting, why not give the two-hour rule a go? Want to try out some more productivity hacks? Check out 5 time management techniques super organised people swear by.

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Emma Norris
A true believer in balance, Emma is just as passionate about pizza as she is about pull-ups. When she’s not writing, she loves strength training, visiting new cafes and trying out new fitness classes. Having lived in Ireland and Canada, Emma was bitten by the travel bug at a young age. She loves nothing more than visiting new destinations and experiencing different cultures. Emma grew up (and currently lives) near the beautiful Coogee Beach and is happiest when she’s near a body of water. She started her career in magazines and has recently made the exciting transition to the digital world.