Happiness is something you don't really think about until you do—a difficult life event or series of events typically bring your happiness, or lack thereof, to your attention. It's only then that you realize how complex this seemingly simple concept really is. A myriad of factors influence your overall well-being, as the New York Times so fluidly lays out in its new guide, How to Be Happy.
Writer Tara Parker-Pope breaks down happiness into five sections: mind, home, relationships, work and money, and happy life. While the entire guide is more than worth the read, I found one tip buried in the "home" section to be especially relevant: the one-minute rule. Based on the overarching idea that "getting organized is unquestionably good for both mind and body," the one-minute rule asks you to do any task that can be finished in one minute.
Coined by happiness expert and best-selling author of The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin, this rule can help you decide what to tackle in a messy room or on an extremely busy workday, for example, to help things feel less overwhelming. Always do the one-minute tasks first, like hanging up a coat, opening and reading mail, answering an email, putting a dish in the dishwasher, answering texts or voicemails. etc. This will keep you from putting off the little things until they feel insurmountable.
"If you do nothing else, incorporate the one-minute rule into your life," writes Parker-Pope, who has had personal success with the method. "It will give you a short boost of happiness after you accomplish so much in a short time — and as a bonus, you will end up with a cleaner room, which will also make you happy."
Head over to The New York Times for more happiness tips.