The Two Minute Rule

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My life is pretty busy and there are times when I end up with hundreds of emails in my inbox and I feel stressed wondering if I should be taking action on some of them. If this sounds familiar then here is an amazing productivity tip I heard from Dave Allen author of Getting Things Done:


Its called “The Two Minute Rule”, and its very simple


If you have an email or an action that takes less than two minutes to do, do it right there and then or decide right then never to do it and trash it.

Why? Because it will actually take you more time to put it on your to do list, file it, then recall it later, than it will take you to Just do it. The same applies for verbal and meeting actions as well as emails


It works so effective because it forces you to answer the question

"What am I going to do with this is new input, is it reference material, an action or rubbish?"

Amazingly I found that in my emails less than 5% incorporate actions that take me more than 2 minutes and at least half just contain reference material.

But here the flip side if actions take more than two minutes, I don't do them straight away Why? Because if you extend the two minute rule, how do you know that the action your doing is the most important?


With items that take more than two minutes I park them on my to do list and then when I have some discretionary time I go back and complete them in the right order of prioritisation.


If the two minute rule works as well for you as it does for me, then you’ll have more discretionary time where you can decide what your priorities are!


Make the most of your time so you can make the most of your life

Till next week

David G

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