The 2-minute rule - Deepstash
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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MORE IDEAS FROM How the 2-minute rule can help you save hours a week

  • 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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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.”

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

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RELATED IDEA

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
  • Organize
  • Reflect
  • Engage

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Eliminate

See if you can cut your tasks and projects lists in half. Then try to cut them even further a few days later.

See which tasks aren't necessary anymore and find the ones that can be delegated.

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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 list in small manageable chunks. Scheduling your time by the hour takes little effort to implement but provides real results.

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