Two-Minute Rule

Time Management

Every Friday, I make time to review my notes and tie up any loose ends as I close out the workweek. A helpful tool for making sure this is not a big lift is the two-minute rule, one of my favorite productivity tips from David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done.

The rule is simple. For any new tasks that can be done in less than two minutes, complete them immediately. I practice this habit all week long, making it easy to welcome the weekend with open arms.

Here’s what I learned when I adopted it:

  • I unconsciously put off simple tasks like replying to emails, saving down files, and e-signing documents.
  • When I delayed these tasks, it took me longer to document them than to get them done.
  • Over time, these tasks piled up. They added weight to my day that took energy away from more pressing initiatives.
  • In the end, a bunch of small tasks had turned into one giant one. I had to rely on a heroic effort to get them all done.
  • Two minutes is a long time! It’s surprising how much you can accomplish with a focused two minutes.

In the words of David Allen, “the two-minute rule is magic.”

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