The 2-minute rule is a productivity technique that suggests if a task will take two minutes or less to complete, you should do it right away.
The idea behind the 2-minute rule is that small tasks can add up and often take up more mental energy and time when they are left undone and linger on your to do list. By tackling these small tasks as soon as they arise, you can free up mental space and energy for larger, more important tasks, and avoid that overwhelming feeling of having a never-ending to do list.
Here are a few examples of tasks that might be applicable for the 2-minute rule:
- Responding to a quick email
- Filing a piece of paper
- Downloading your reports for an upcoming finance meeting
- Adding a transaction to your cashbook
- Uploading your recent meeting minutes to your website
To apply the 2-minute rule, create a habit of regularly checking your to do list or inbox for tasks that can be completed in 2 minutes or less. Think about the cognitive effort of actually processing, documenting, scheduling and then remembering to complete that task - it is quicker to get it done immediately. Using this technique can help you stay organised and focused, and keep your work moving forward efficiently.
Use the 2-minute rule as a guide rather than a strict rule, and be mindful of your own capacity and priorities.
The 2-minute rule can be a useful tool for helping you stay on top of your tasks, and it can also help you develop good habits around managing your time and energy. However, it is important to remember this rule is not meant to be applied to every task. Some tasks will require more time and attention, and it may not be beneficial to try to complete them in a short amount of time. In these cases, it may be more effective to schedule the task for a later time when you can give it more attention.