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

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

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

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

blog.rescuetime.com

7

Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

James Clear

James Clear

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

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.

Jonathan White

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.”

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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GTD (Getting Things Done)

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Its 5 principles are:

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"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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By the hour

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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.

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Work Around Your Energy Levels

Productivity is directly related to your energy level.

Find your most productive hours — the time of your peak energy — and schedule Deep Work for those periods. Do low-value and low-energy tasks (also known as shallow work), such as responding to emails or unimportant meetings, in between those hours.

Plan Your Day the Night Before

Before going to bed, spend 5 minutes writing your to-do list for the next day. These tasks should help you move towards your professional and personal goals.

You’ll be better prepared mentally for the challenges ahead before waking up and there won’t be any room for procrastination in the morning. As a result, you’ll work faster and smoother than ever before.

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