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How the 2-minute rule can help you save hours a week

https://blog.rescuetime.com/2-minute-rule/

blog.rescuetime.com

How the 2-minute rule can help you save hours a week
If you're interested in personal productivity, you have more than likely at least heard of Getting Things Done (GTD)-the productivity system designed to move every task, idea, and project that's currently in your head (where they're prone to stressing you out and bubbling up when you're trying to focus) into an organized outside system.

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Getting Things Done: the basics

  • Capture. Write down everything you need to do.
  • Clarify. Break down each task into an actionable next step. 
  • Organize. Move each of those actionable tasks onto a specific list: E.g: Action: Things to do next, Waiting For: Tasks or projects you’ve delegated or are waiting on other people for, etc.
  • Reflect. Set time aside to re-assess your priorities and update your lists weekly or daily.
  • Engage. Start working through your Action list in order.

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The 2-minute rule

The 2-minute rule
If a task takes less than 2 minutes, then do it now.

If the effort to keep remembering a task is more than just getting it out of the way now, then do it.

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Fixing small tasks

  • Fixing things is empowering. Our confidence increases or decreases based on our ability to make progress. 
  • Any progress builds momentum (and your mood): No matter how small the task is, crossing it off your to-do list gives you a boost of momentum and enhances your mood.
  • Small steps turn into habits: When a task is easy to do and quickly completed, it’s much easier to turn it into a habit.

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James Clear
“Once you’ve started doing the right thing, it is much easier to continue doing it.”

James Clear

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The hard thing about small tasks

We're pretty bad at estimating how much time a task will take, even if we’ve done that task before.

When you’re trying to implement the 2-minute rule, you might find yourself spending hours on that “easy” email you wanted to write.

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Jonathan White
“The more you look into the most productive people, the more you realize they don’t just work hard, but they start off by optimizing the small things they do every single day.”

Jonathan White

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For more mental space and focus

  • Answer the “why” and “what” for each of your regularly scheduled meetings.
  • Set office hours for interruptions, emails, and conversations.
  • Clean up your desk (and your desktop).

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

GTD (Getting Things Done)

GTD is a productivity method for organizing your to-dos, priorities, and schedule in a way that makes them all manageable.

Its 5 principles are:

  • Capture
  • Clarify
  • Org...

"GTD is an organizational system. It doesn't put rules around how you actually do your work. Instead, it focuses on how you capture the work you need to do, organize it, and choose what needs your attention"

"GTD is an organizational system. It doesn't put rules around how you actually do your work. Instead, it focuses on how you capture the work you need to do, organize it, and choose what needs your attention"

GTD: Capture

Capture everything. Your to-dos, your ideas, your recurring tasks, everything. Put it in a pen-and-paper notebook, a to-do app, a planner, whatever you prefer to use to get organized.

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Single Task

Switching between tasks can have damaging costs to our work and productivity.

Develop the habit of single-tasking by forcing your brain to concentrate on one task and one task only. Put your phone away, close all the browser windows and apps that you don’t need. Immerse yourself in this task. Only move to the next one when you’re done.

Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy

Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life depends.” 

By the hour

This works well for the chronic procrastinator: those who say they will do it later and then wonder why it never gets done.

Instead of getting overwhelmed, tackle your to-do l...

The Pomodoro Method

Rather than trying to work flat-out, break down your day into a series of work-sprints with a short rest period after each session.

Set a timer for 25 min and focus exclusively on your work for that time, take a 5 min break, and repeat.

Some people find that taking a 5 min break destroys their flow. But it does help to break long complex tasks into a series on manageable sprints.

The 2-minute rule

The 2-minute rule is a strategy for quickly assessing and taking action on small tasks so they don’t take up too much mental energy.

Ask yourself if a task is going to take you 2 minutes or less. If so, just do it.