Time is precious. With so many competing demands for our attention, it is essential to find ways to be as productive as possible, so we can get everything done. There are numerous productivity techniques, from structured routines to to daily themes, but, as reported by John Meese, the most powerful technique is also the simplest.
The technique is called the two-minute rule. It’s fairly straight-forward:
If you could complete a task in two minutes or less, do it now.
According to Meese:
“When you’re presented with something that you could complete in a couple of minutes, there’s no need to put the task off or add it to your to-do list. Doing so would only make your never-ending task list longer. Each time you follow the two-minute rule, you unlock the power of quick wins. Every time you finish a task, you gain momentum that makes it easier to conquer the next one.”
Meese provides a few examples of the two-minute rule in action:
- You receive an email from a colleague, asking your opinion on a new project idea. Rather than mark the email as “unread” and come back to it later, you take a moment to send them feedback right away.
- You sit down (or stand) at your desk and notice a growing pile of letters and notes. Rather than ignore the mess and get straight to work, you spend the first minutes of your day decluttering the space around you.
- Your spouse asks you to take out the trash or put your laundry away. Rather than put it off until you “feel like it,” you stop what you’re doing and take care of the task right away.
In each of these examples, following the two-minute rule leaves you better off and further ahead. It may mean a small inconvenience, but it’s totally worth it.
Time is precious, and every moment counts. Let the two-minute rule give you back more of what you need: time.
For more tips from Meese on how the two-minute rule can improve your life, read the full piece here.