David allen

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

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The Two-Minute Rule: Stop Procrastinating With This Simple Trick

blog.doist.com

Completing quick tasks

What could be a quick task we complete right way becomes a point of procrastination. A tiny to do can take on a life of its own in our minds. 

The longer you put something off, the harder it feels to accomplish it. To avoid this phenomenon, tackle tasks as soon as they arise or shortly thereafter to avoid them building up in the first place.

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Starting a big task

You can break down any big task or large project into quick bites that allow you to get started, sustain momentum, and complete an overwhelming task two minutes at a time. 

The next time you feel the pull to procrastinate, identify something you can do in just two minutes to get started. 

Plan big, execute small.

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The advantages of the 2 minute rule
  1.  With the 2 minute rule, there's no complex workflow, 4x4 grid, or inbox to input your tasks. It's simple and straightforward: Do the quick task quickly
  2. Instead of adding a task to a list and finding time in the near or distant future to complete it, act in the present.
  3. When you employ the two-minute rule to complete just one thing, it often generates a sense of accomplishment that propels you towards the next task. Action begets more action

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david allen

“That said, you shouldn’t become a slave to spending your day doing two-minute actions. This rule should be applied primarily when you are engaging with new input; for example, processing your in-tray, interacting with someone in your office or home, or simply dealing with some random intersection in the hallway.”

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The con of the 2 minute rule

There's a time and a place to implement the 2 minute rule. Quickly popping into our inbox to respond to an email is a distraction when we’re meant to be preparing for an upcoming presentation.

Hard and complex work often requires longer stretches of time. These periods of time should be blocked off. During this time, put the two-minute rule on pause.

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Carve out time for two-minute tasks

We can carve out blocks where we can put the two-minute rule to use.

One of the best times to use the two-minute rule is during periods of structured procrastination. During this time, you’re procrastinating on one thing, but focusing on slightly less important tasks.

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