The ‘Two Minute’ Rule

Being productive either at work or at home is a crucial part of being organised and being organised is essential to a happy and content life I feel ……All your ducks in a row so that you just get on with your day.

I live by the ideas in David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done” and by far the most effective, easy to implement, approach is the two minute rule. Simply put…. If it’s going to take you less than two minutes to do it just do it… don’t even think about it… just get on with it. This little productivity hack gets so much done in my world!

I find it most effective in dealing with email. As Allen points out your inbox is a collecting tool not a storage tool so your email inbox should be empty! How many of us can say that! The problem is once they disappear off the bottom of the screen you may as well delete them as they risk being forgotten about! The two minute rule is so effective at getting through the morning grind of ‘getting in to empty’, as Allen puts it, that my inbox is routinely empty (or nearly empty at least). It’s amazing how many things only take a small amount of time but how easily they all mount up and then become onerous. And once those emails disappear off the bottom of the page they get forgotten about…. You know they do… and then they eat away at you as you wonder what’s further down the inbox list! The beauty of emptying your inbox daily and doing something with the things you find there (diary it, delete it, delegate it, or put it into your ‘trusted system’ (more on this soon)) is that you know that, if you don’t get back to your email for the rest of the day, there’s nothing in there you don’t know about that’s more than a few hours old! That’s a great feeling.

The two minute rule works just as well in other areas! At home the dishwasher gets dealt with while I’m making a cup of tea, the bin gets emptied as soon s it’s full, the recycling gets put out, the cooker top gets cleaned while the coffees on… and on it goes…. Things just get done… and you feel so much better and have more space to do the important stuff. Simple.

SO what do you do if it’s going to take more than two minutes!? What’s this ‘Trusted System’ idea. Ah! That’s for another blog…

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