Productivity and the 2-Minute Rule

Today I’m going to talk to you about productivity and the 2-minute rule.

So what is the 2-minute rule? I’ve heard about the two-minute rule years ago but it seems to me it has become more popular with David Allen’s Getting Things Done book.  I think his two-minute rule is quite different than the one I learned so I’m gonna talk about my version of the 2-minute rule

Let’s start with a little bit of background. With the 2-minute rule if you’ve got a task that it would probably only take you two minutes to do it it just somehow doesn’t seem worth it to schedule it or delegate it by the time you create instructions and give it to somebody else. So shouldn’t you just do those tasks that are under two minutes? Doesn’t that make sense?

It does make sense with a few caveats. First off you still want to analyze your task to say is this really a task that is important to the outcomes to the goals that I’m working towards? Meaning should I do this task at all? If not you should dump the task so you never have to do it again. Even if it’s only a two-minute task if it’s one that could be dumped go ahead and dump it.

Secondly, look at can  I automate this task. Now automating a 2-minute task doesn’t sound like much but if you’re doing that task every day and if you’ve got 20 or 30 other tasks like that you do every day automating this can have a huge time savings over a longer period.

Thirdly it may not make sense to delegate a 2-minute task but if it is an ongoing task – one you see on an ongoing basis, delegating it to someone else by teaching them how to do it this time and then making sure you never see the task again will have saving. So if it’s not something you can dump or automate or delegate does it make sense to just do the task instead of waiting?

The answer is yes, but I keep it it’s a period of time, usually late in the afternoon for simple tasks. Tasks that are 2 minutes or less low-energy tasks. I like to keep all those kinds of tasks for that low energy time so they’re not taking my prime thinking and focus time which is usually first thing in the morning when I work.

So yes if you got a two-minute task that you can’t dump automate or delegate then yes you should do it but only during times when you’re not doing your heavy tasks that require a lot of deep focus.

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