Do you love gardening, but need a little push to get started? Or maybe there are certain gardening jobs that you just despise doing, like raking or cleaning the patio? If you know that you need to get these jobs done, there is a technique that is proven to help you become more productive, even when you don’t really feel like it.
The 5-minute rule
This is a method of ending procrastination that falls under the the subject of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). But don’t let that scare you – you don’t have to go to therapy just to get your gardening jobs done and dusted! This is just an easy method that anyone can employ when it comes to any list of tasks.
It’s very simple. All you need to do is think about the task – whether that’s mowing the lawn, cleaning the shed or laying out mulch – and dedicate just five minutes of your time to doing that task. If, at the end of the five minutes, you feel like you can carry on working on that task, then do so. If you cannot keep working on the task – i.e. because it’s too cold, your back hurts, or you’d just rather be doing something else – stop, and dedicate five minutes to that same task tomorrow.
Why five minutes? The biggest problem that procrastinators have is ‘getting started’. However, if you have trouble getting started because you don’t like the thought of having to do that task for the next half hour (or however long), then five minutes sounds a lot more palatable.
Gardening jobs to tick off with the 5-minute rule
Sure, there are many jobs in the garden that you really need to dedicate time to. For example, if your fence blows down due to strong winds, you can’t exactly dedicate just five minutes to repairing it or putting a new one up, because it might take a long time to complete. However, there are lots of everyday jobs that seem like a real bore to get stuck into, but in reality can be completed quickly and easily with the use of the 5-minute rule. Here are some examples:
I can’t think of anyone who sincerely enjoys raking, but I do know many people who love a leaf and debris-free lawn. If you’ve got a large area that needs to be raked, even dedicating five minutes can help you clear a decent part of it – so if you do this each day, you’ll have a clear lawn in no time!
Sweeping really is one of those five-minute tasks that we just don’t do because we can’t be bothered. However, think about how much it can change the overall look of your outdoor area! Even if it’s not that messy, a patio or path can really transform with a simple five-minute sweep.
Weeding is admittedly a back-breaking task, and for those of us who might not take well to physically demanding gardening work, the mere thought of weeding is enough to put you off doing it. However, breaking the task up into five-minute intervals across a few days will ease pressure on your joints and muscles, while getting the task slowly but surely ticked off your list of jobs.
Splitting plants might seem like a mammoth task, but once you get stuck in with the five-minute rule, you might even want to continue and get the whole job done, just so you don’t have to revisit it. You might split plants due to overcrowding or because you want more of a certain plant; whatever the reason, five minutes of your time can help you get the look that you desire in your garden.
Scrubbing away grime
Cleaning? Bleurgh. It can be hard work, and sometimes boring. But think about the end results! There are many tasks related to cleaning in the garden, but one of the most common is scrubbing away the grime that comes with bad weather and foot traffic. For example, all your patio needs is a good scrub to get rid of that grime and look as good as new, but you might find it hard to get started. Instead of procrastinating, get stick in for five minutes and scrub away! Even if you do it section-by-section, at least it’ll eventually become spick and span.
The best 5-minute rule tool
Everbody knows that you need the right tools for the job – and having those tools in hand makes the job just that little bit more enjoyable to carry out. The Grumpy Gardener Multi Headed Rake Broom is a multi-purpose tool that helps you complete all of the gardening jobs listed above, and more! It features several heads which have versatile functions:
- A rake-broom head for raking and sweeping
- A weeding knife head (which can be used for weeding, obviously, as well as splitting plants and other tasks which require a blade-type tool)
- A large wire brush patio scrubber for blasting away at that grime and removing moss and debris
The rake-broom head features innovative, curved plastic bristles that are always in contact with the ground, making raking and sweeping so much easier on almost any surface. You can transform this boring task into one that is much more satisfying, and less time consuming, with this easy-to-use tool.
Plus, the telescopic handle allows you to extend the tool to a comfortable working height, and allow you to clean hard-to-reach areas of your outdoor space.
End gardening procrastination with the five-minute rule in combination with this fantastic tool, and you’ll have much more time to actually enjoy your garden!
Available here at QVC.
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook – and writes a plant-focused Substack called Grow This, Not That.