A few years ago I heard about this simple rule to help get tasks done during the working day. I mentioned it in my last email, and I’ve had a couple of comments on it from people that have used it and found it helpful – great to hear! Here’s a bit more about it.
It’s all about avoiding procrastination and developing good habits around tedious tasks that can pile up and become mountainous! It’s dead easy and doesn’t need any all singing all dancing apps or massive changes to your approach to work.
Here’s how it works. Most of the tasks that you procrastinate on aren’t that difficult or time consuming to do – you just think, “Oh, I’ll do that later.” The task gets left and left along with other small tasks and before you know it, you’ve got a load of boring stuff to do that will take some time. It’s there in the back of your mind… I must do that… I must do that…
So remember the 2 Minute Rule.
If it takes less than 2 minutes to do – do it NOW.
You get an email that requires a three line response. Do it NOW.
You have a receipt for a networking event. Enter it on your spreadsheet/accounts software and file it NOW.
You have five newsletters in your inbox that you know you’ll not read. Delete them NOW. And unsubscribe while you’re at it, if you know you’re realistically not going to read them in future.
If it’s going to take longer than two minutes, plan it into your schedule. Enter it in your calendar or diary so that it is a concrete task.
The 2 Minute Rule works for big goals as well as all the itty bitty tasks of the working day. Once you start something, it’s easier to carry on doing it. So try doing something you want to get started on… just for 2 minutes. For example, want to get into writing blogs? Write one sentence. You’ll often find you carry on and you’ve got a good chunk of it done. The most important thing is to get started and things will flow from there. Or you can use the time to put your ideas down into bullet points and then schedule the actual writing of the blog for later.
This rule applies to daily life as well as work tasks. You know the kind of thing, you put your coffee mug on the drainer instead of into the dishwasher (or washing it). You leave your post unopened or read it and shove it back in the envelope.
So why not start now? There’s bound to be something that will take less than two minutes lurking on your desk or in the corners of your day to day life. Do it now and see how good it feels to get something accomplished, so easily and quickly.
You can read more about developing good habits at www.jamesclear.com