Crushing Busyness – Part 4 – The 2-Minute Rules

Two 2-minute rules are critical to my productivity.

The first is from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. James talks about creating habits that are less than 2-minutes long. It sounds silly but works amazingly well.

The idea is that by creating a habit that is so short, it’s hard to rationalize skipping it. For example, if you decide you want to exercise and commit to start with 2-minutes a day, it’s tough to say you didn’t have time to do it.

The other beautiful thing is that once 2-minutes is up, you will likely go longer, making the habit more effective. By committing to do something for 2-minutes every day, you are essentially committing to get started, which is the hardest part of any new habit.

The other 2-minute rule is from Getting Things Done by David Allen. David teaches that when it comes to task management if you have a task that will take less than two minutes to complete, you should do it now.

The reason this is so smart is that putting off a two-minute task will make that task take much longer than two minutes. For example, let’s say you read a long email, and you know it will require a lengthy response from you. If you put off writing that response until later, you will have to first, set a reminder to respond. Then, when that task comes due, you will have to find the email you are responding to, re-read the email, and finally respond to it. An email response that could have taken two-minutes at the moment takes five-minutes when pushed to a later time.

These two-minute rules are some of my favorite productivity habits. The first is the reason I wrote this post, and the second is the reason I’m about to publish and promote it! 😉

Photo by Sonny Ravesteijn on Unsplash

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