Getting Out of the Five Minute Trap

A Modern Survival Guide Interlude

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This is a simple and effective cognitive trick — link completion of a task to some form of reward. Maybe you treat yourself to a piece of chocolate every time you do the dishes. Maybe you give yourself an hour on the PS4 for doing the laundry. Maybe you get a note from your significant other for making the bed, etc.


A lot of Five Minute Problems that lead to the Trap can be made easier to solve by simply designating time to solve them. It’s easy to put off doing the dishes with the “I’ll do it later” excuse. Having a designated fifteen-minute interval in the evening that you set aside for doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen gives you something to plan around and towards, and makes the concept of solving the problem “real” in your mind.

Sheer Willpower

Last but by no means least, willpower is a major component of solving Five Minute Problems and getting out of the Trap. The key component of this strategy is to simply recognize problems and then solve them immediately, not waiting for any future event to provide you with an excuse for doing so.

Searching for truth in a world focused on belief.

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