Is your mind filled with little things that need to be done? Do you cringe or uncomfortably joke about the number of emails in your inbox?
The 2-minute rule is a simple strategy for those with complex goals and a ton of stuff coming at them.
There are many variants of the 2-minute rule but the original source is David Allen’s Getting Things Done. At the core of the GTD Method is the main tenet that we should get everything out of our heads and into a paper or digital system.
If a task will take less than two minutes, then the time spent adding it to a system will exceed the time it takes to complete the task. Logically, we should just complete the task.
It’s surprising the number of things we put off that we could get done in two minutes: emptying the dishwasher, adding paper to the copier, responding to an email, paying a bill, and a multitude of other daily tasks.
In Atomic Habits, James Clear extends the 2-minute rule to focus on taking action and letting things flow. When you start a new habit, it should be automatic and take less than two minutes to be in a groove.
If you want to exercise in the morning, put your gym clothes out beside your toothbrush as you go to bed. If you want to maintain a decluttered workspace, use a system of trays for all papers or notebooks that aren't currently in use.
Choosing a 2-minute rule is the perfect lead domino to get stuff out of your head, greatly improve your productivity, and build momentum.