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The “Two-Minute Rule” of Time Management in Two Minutes
If you’re like me, you probably read about 250 to 300 words a minute, and that is good, because I am going to try to take just about 2 minutes of your time and explain the “Two-Minute Rule” of time management.
The “Two-Minute Rule” of time management was created by David Allen in his book, Getting Things Done. The rule simply states that “if you determine an action can be done in two minutes, you actually should do it right then because it’ll take you longer to organize it and review it than you would be to actually finish it the first time you notice it.”1 In other words, don’t waste time trying to schedule little easy tasks; do them before they ever make your to-do list. Washing a dish takes less time than to schedule washing (unless it’s King Kong’s dish). However, I have a note of caution, but I’ll wait to tell you until my final paragraph (we have time).
A second step to the Two-Minute Rule was added by James Clear in a blog for the Huffington Post. He suggests that to help fight procrastination, “when you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.” And “every goal can be started in two minutes or less.”2 Sure cleaning the garage will take longer than two minutes, so break it down to two-minute intervals and just get started. You can begin by sweeping the floor. After that inertia kicks in and objects at rest tend to stay at rest, while objects in motion tend to stay in motion and yadda yadda yadda.
But not so fast there Captain Speedy McGoGetter, there are a couple of time management pitfalls I want you to look out for as you are blasting through your two-minute activities. First, if you are using the two-minute rule to start a new habit, be sure you have enough free time to let inertia take over; otherwise, you have to set limits. You don’t want to start cleaning the garage for two minutes and two hours later realize you should have been writing a 500 word essay on the “Two-Minute Rule” of time management.
Finally, if you are in the middle of something and you are on a roll, and a two-minute activity will halt your groove, it’s okay to ditch the Two-Minute Rule. Two-minute distractions might only be two minutes but they are still distractions and they can add up.
Well shucks! It turns out I gave my note of caution in my second to final paragraph. Regardless, try the “Two-Minute Rule” of time management; you might find it to be life changing, or it might just make you go “meh.” In any case, be sure to let us know.
1Success. (n.d.).David Allen’s Two Minute Rule. Retrieved May 19, 2014, from Success.com: http://www.success.com/article/1-on-1-david-allens-two-minute-rule.
2Clear, J. (2013, June 4). How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the ‘Two-Minute Rule’. Retrieved May 19, 2014, from Huff Post The Third Metric: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-clear/stop-procrastinating_b_3342758.html.