It’s fascinating to see the way people learning the ropes of GTD methods are pleasantly surprised by the power of the “Two-minute rule”. The Two-minute rule is indeed a profound idea.  If you haven’t heard about it, read on. Also, don’t yet go away, if you already practiced it as I will also talk about how to take it to the next level!

This is what the rule says –

“If an action will take less than two minutes, it should be done at the moment it’s DEFINED.”

Let’s say you are checking your emails and the first email demands you to prepare a presentation for a meeting coming up in three days. Since this is something you don’t want to miss, you will note down this action in your to-do list, before going ahead to the next mail. Now in the next email, your teammate is requesting you to review a document. You will also note this down into your to-do list.  So far so good.

In the next email, one of your clients is requesting you to postpone your meeting by a week. You will choose to do this right away instead of entering it into your to-do list. It’s logical to finish the task right at that moment than accepting the overhead of entering the action in the to-do list and looking it up later to do it. This task is so quick that it is not going to divert you from your current work of checking emails. This is how you apply the two-minute rule!

Although the two-minute rule appears like a matter of common sense, people often end up messing it up altogether. One of the most common mistakes is to start working on a time-consuming task as soon as you come to know about it. It not only distracts you from your current work but also keeps you away from something more important and relevant for that time slot since you are not looking up your to-do list.

A more risky mistake is to not do a time-consuming task at that moment, but also to not enter it into the to-do list. You have set yourself up for a future oops moment!

With some practice, you should be able to apply the two-minute rule correctly, but that is not all. There is a great opportunity once you employ the two-minute rule. There are many ways by which you could convert seemingly longer tasks into two-minute tasks. I call them productivity accelerators.

You reduce the time taken to do a task by cutting down the time you waste in searching for the supporting material, such as documents or links, or recollecting the process do it. What essentially we need to do here is to organize all the material and the processes, when we first encounter them, in such a way that they could be accessed in a split second later.

You got the requirement specifications for the project through the mail. You save it in the place planned for that before moving on to the next action. You come up with the most optimum procedure to do some work, you document the steps right away and keep them at a place designated for such artifacts.

You bookmark the right pages of the websites that you need to access very often. If it is so that, very often, you go to the Orders page of Amazon, why not bookmark that page than every time first go to the home page and then look for the Orders page. The same thing goes with frequently accessed folders, documents, and Apps. You could maintain shortcuts for all of them.

As you see, suddenly everything that you need is a click away and the tasks that you do with them start falling into the scope of the two-minute rule!

Tap into the potential of this wonderful principle and achieve stress-free productivity. Remember to JUST DO IT, but only if It Takes Less Than Two Minutes. Right?

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(featured image: Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels )