2-Minute Rule for quick processing

In this first episode of the show let me focus on the powerful 2-minute rule by David Allen from his great book called "Getting Things Done - The Art of Stress-Free Productivity"
Question: How else are you using the 2-minute rule? Is your minimum the said 2-minute threshold or is it longer/shorter?

Posted on Sunday, June 15, 2008 (2-minute-rule-2,show)

Alain Latour
Apr 10, 2010 20:37
Hmm. I can't make my bed in 2 minutes, at least not to my wife's satisfaction. But you're tight, Michael: 2 minutes is often more time than we think.
Michael Sliwinski
Jun 18, 2010 14:13
Yes, definitely it's a lot more than we think. I've discovered lots of other ~2 minute activities and I'm forcing myself to think about these as such - quick stuff that needs to get done now :-) Thanks for your comment, Alain.
Michael Sliwinski
Nov 6, 2010 22:43
Great comments Mickey and Bert, Yes, you're spot on Bert, the idea is not to write something down but just get it done :-) It also helps you have less projects and less actions in Nozbe (or on any to-do list) because these never get there :-) Don't WRITE DOWN, just GET DONE :-)
Bert Webb
Nov 6, 2010 16:53
I think it's just as important to remember WHY the two-minute rule is a part of GTD. David advocates a hard distinction between processing actions (the act of moving items from our various inboxes and collection buckets to a trusted tracking system (in our case Nozbe) and the actual execution of a next action. When we find a task that can be done in two or less minutes, it usually takes MORE time to transfer it into a system and track it, than it does to just go ahead and do it.
Nov 6, 2010 16:42
Michael -- Great video. I agree that the two-minute rule is GOLD. If I had to make a list of things that make me more productive (inbox zero, Nozbe, etc), the two-minute rule would be right up near the top!
Michael Sliwinski
Aug 2, 2011 08:56
Julie, thanks for your comment - it's important to identify what you have to do and what's really important to you. And go with it. The 2-minute rule should be adapted in the moment you're processing stuff and it's best with administrative tasks like email, filing stuff, etc. Back to your question: "it depends". Maybe do the 2-minute action, shut yourself off and do your thing... and see if in the meantime new 2-minute actions piled up. Do these and get back to your work :-)
Aug 2, 2011 08:28
Hello, Yes, this idea is very interesting. The problem is when you have a lot of "less than two minutes" tasks. Then you end up doing them for several minutes, maybe hours. Also, at work, very often when I am already doing something, I see something I should also do, which takes less than two minutes. Should I stop the first task to do the second? I'm not sure. But I guess the system should be adapted to each person or work.
Aug 12, 2011 16:28
I agree that this rule in particular was one of the key ingredients for me, especially early on. I am still learning about what two minutes really feels like in the real world, versus what I *think* two minutes will allow. Turns out I'm not that good at 'feeling' time. And yes, implementing this, along with much of GTD, does depend on your intuitive responses, assuming that you are not in a harried state of mind, but have 'mind like water'. In other words, proportional response to the stuff coming at us will keep us from spending too much time rattling off two minute wins. That proportion, at least for me, is very likely tied to my trust in the current state of my GTD system.