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Everything You Need to Know About the Two-Minute Rule

A simple rule, to drastically up your productivity, and peace of mind.

Do you procrastinate a lot? Is creating a work schedule a problem for you? If the answers to both these questions are ‘Yes’, then don’t worry. You’re similar to every other professional around the world.

A normal work schedule is always packed with tasks, some of which are easy to complete and others which are not. Identifying where to start or which job to pick first can be confusing. Here’s where the ‘Two-minute rule’ comes into the picture.

The rule, which was first proposed in the book ‘Getting Things Done’ by productivity consultant David Allen, addresses the challenge of scheduling and implementation of workload. The idea is to take work planning out of the mind and put it on paper in the form of a To-do list. David believes that having actionable items available in a visual format in front of you will help you plan and complete tasks with relative ease.

The two-minute rule works on two basic theories:

v Starting with tasks that take less than two minutes to complete will help you manage your workload better

v Incorporating the two-minute rule as a habit should make it easier to follow, in time

Steps to success

v Write a To-do list with all the items on your agenda today

v Analyze which tasks can be completed quickly, in less than two minutes

v Create a new list in the order of completion time

v Schedule tasks that take a longer time to complete for later in the day

v Start with the identified small task and complete it

v Follow the same process until all the small tasks are done

The idea behind the rule is that once you start working on something, the chances of your giving up on it are negligible. Additionally, the two-minute rule provides a solution to all those small tasks that tend to get overshadowed and forgotten in the wake of big and critical projects.

Suppose you had to send an email to a supplier, a mail that was non-critical. Instead of postponing the task, send the email immediately. This will ensure that you do not forget to finish the job and will give you more time to work on large projects later.

Should you implement it?

Yes. While not all jobs can be completed in less than two minutes, the benefits of using the rule are there for us to see. Many times we tend to procrastinate out of laziness. The two-minute rule helps nip this problem in the bud.

Once you’ve got a hang of the rule, you can extend it to all those tasks that take more than two minutes to complete, say less than five minutes. The objective of the rule is to help create a mindset that rids us of our tendency to procrastinate.

Do you want to know the best thing about the two-minute rule? It works for all non-work activities too. Do you forget to take regular breaks? Just take a breather of two minutes and experience myriad benefits.

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