Use the 2 Minute Rule to get more stuff done

2 minute ruleOne of the easiest and most productive parts of GTD is called the “2 minute rule”. If you determine an action can be done in two minutes, you actually should do it right then because it’ll take longer to organize it and review it than it would be to actually finish it the first time you notice it.

So, when you are processing tasks and the task is actionable, then decide if you can complete the task in less than two minutes and if the answer is “yes” then just do it. This is called the “2 Minute Rule” because there is no need to categorize or do any further thinking about the item if you can accomplish the task in less than two minutes – just do it!

Writing down every little thing you have to do takes more time than it’s worth – if you need to send a 30-second reminder e-mail to someone, there’s no sense in taking 60 seconds to write it down and another 30 seconds to put in your trusted system when you could just get it done. Your goal is to get things done, not to flawlessly capture each and every little thing in your perfectly designed system.

Thinking of your time in two-minute increments will allow you to get a lot of things done. When you simply do something, you eliminate all of the prioritizing, scheduling and thinking about tasks. This applies to all aspects of processing your incoming “stuff” no matter if it is calls, email, social media, or any other task that comes your way.

It’s easy to get caught in the trap of adding absolutely everything to your system, including things that can be done in two minutes or less. With enough small and insignificant tasks, you can clog your system and lose considerable time and focus. And, if you overwhelm your system enough, you might even paralyze your productivity completely.

So use the 2 minute rule to get stuff done.

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About Michael Keithley
Digital Transformation CIO and Public Speaker. Previously, CIO at Creative Artists Agency

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