The simpler the better, as far as I’m concerned — especially where it concerns productivity and business systems.
‘Cause there just comes a point when this brain, which increasingly resembles Swiss cheese some days, simply cannot take any more complex routines or complicated procedures, y’know?
So, that might explain why I’m such a fan of the two-minute rule.
What Is The Two-Minute Rule?
The concept really could not be simpler:
- You have your to-do or tasks list …
- You have some process of adding things to that list …
- At the moment you become aware of a new task or to-do, ask yourself one very simple question: Can I get this thing done in two minutes or less?
- If the answer is “no,” write it down — add it to the list.
- But if the answer is “yes,” then do it right then and there.
In other words, you never have to put it on the list at all. (Unless, like me, you like to keep a full record of what you do during a day — which is also a good idea, but not everybody’s cup of dark French roast, I understand.)
In other words, you just do it. If it takes less than two minutes.
How Does The 2-Minute Rule Supercharge Your Productivity?
The reason this is so freaking awesome is that often, as Steph’s freaky-creepy dream led her to realize, it’s the little shit that kills us.
We get so caught up in the avalanche of little-shit, in fact, especially when we’re trying to run our businesses, that we sort of give up. We keep adding little shit to the list, and then the list looks daunting, people.
And who among us hasn’t looked at a monster tasks list and thought, “oh holy hell, I cannot possibly handle this right now…”?
So, it stands to reason, if you can manage those little tasks — the crap you could knock off really quickly — right then and there, you can avoid that sense of overwhelm.
Also, there’s this: When we’re facing Big Shit in our business-running, it’s really super-tempting to focus only on the Big Shit and ignore the exponentially-increasing amount of little shit.
Of course, the irony here is that once the pile of little tasks gets too big, it’s just as damaging to our ability to produce as the big stuff can be.
The two-minute rule really speaks to us on a primal level, I’ve found. Is it any wonder, really, that out of all the tips I shared in the recent “Greatest Business Productivity Blog Post Ever” piece, the 2-minute rule was hands down the most commented on? See for yourself in the comments there.
And I think that’s a function of how very sensible it is. ‘Cause deep down, for all the wonky crap we humans rationalize and do on a daily basis, I do believe that we are essentially quite intuitive beings. When we hear or read about something that will help us, often we’ll feel like somebody rang a little bell somewhere deep inside.
Give the 2-minute rule a try for a week. And, like everything else on teh internets, if it doesn’t work, ditch it and move on.
But I’m willing to bet you’re gonna like the results.