The Two-Minute Rule and Why It Can Help Your Business
You may have heard of the two-minute rule or variations of it (the one-minute or three-minute rule) in the past and failed to realise just how much of a life-changing effect it could have on your procrastination levels. But it can alter your life if you follow the rule and apply it to both your business and personal life.
The two-minute rule can help you establish good habits today and well into the future, and it is based on one simple premise. If it takes two minutes or less to do, then do it now. Don’t put it off until tomorrow or later; get on with it and cross it off the list. Easy!
Now, think about all the things that you could’ve achieved today – those tasks that could be completed in less than two minutes. Washing out your coffee cup. Filing that piece of paper away. Entering that number into your spreadsheet. And on and on it goes. The list is absolutely endless as there are so many opportunities within a day, let alone an hour, to complete things within a two-minute period. By the time you have determined that you are not going to do something and mentally procrastinated over the issue or jotted it down on your to-do list, then two minutes has probably passed in which case you could have done it anyway.
There are a massive amount of things that cannot be completed within that two-minute timeframe and they can definitely be put off until a more suitable time. We all want to increase our productivity; therefore starting and finishing that task will improve your efficiency and enable you to do more during the course of your day.
The two-minute rule is nothing new. It has been around for a while although was brought to the forefront by David Allen, author and time-management consultant in 2001 when he published his book, Getting Things Done: the art of stress-free productivity. Doing something now rather than later immediately spurs you to action and ensures that you keep your mental focus on more important tasks. It is a very cathartic way to approach your day and will prevent you from getting distracted about all the little issues – those unnecessary mental time wasters or energy zappers.
By adopting the two-minute rule, you are not only keeping your to-do list for the bigger stuff, but you are also maintaining your focus on the big picture. Having to think about the pile of filing sitting on your desk numerous times a day can be mentally draining, not to mention, very depressing. If you filed it as soon as it arrived, you wouldn’t even have to give it a second thought.
Whether your system is paper-based or digitalised, or a mix of both, the two-minute rule can be applied. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, it is great for getting things done in the home as well. Get out of bed – instantly make the bed. Have that cup of tea – wash that cup immediately. The post arrives – open it to see if there is anything which needs your urgent attention. Trust me; you will feel better once you get into the habit of doing it now rather than later. And the sense of accomplishment that comes with tackling issues in life like this is enormous. Mega, in fact, as there are many small celebratory moments each day where you can give yourself permission to smile because of a job well done.