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  • 2min rule on a S/M item ?

    Personally I do use the 2min rule on a S/M maybe item thats landed in my inbox... but sometimes i feel I should just file it away and come back to it when its a active project... Is it a bad practice to use the 2min rule on a someday/maybe next action ?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Tado View Post
    Personally I do use the 2min rule on a S/M maybe item thats landed in my inbox... but sometimes i feel I should just file it away and come back to it when its a active project... Is it a bad practice to use the 2min rule on a someday/maybe next action ?
    Hey, Tado!

    I don't think I've ever had a two-minute someday/maybe. I wish! I think one of the reasons things fall into S/M is that they are usually projects that I can't find time or energy for. Heck, if they were only two-minute actions, I'd be all over them!

    Now, if you have a dozen of these and you're trying to get through your inbox and it's bogging you down, then I guess I could see putting them in S/M.

    But, to answer your question, in my opinion it's only a bad practice if it's getting in your way and making you less productive.

    Dena

    Comment


    • #3
      No, I think it's fine to use the 2-minute rule!

      You either spend the 2 minutes and actually get the thing done; or you spend time
      now deciding where it goes in your system and putting it there, and you spend time each time you review your someday/maybe's reconsidering whether to do that thing or not. I think David Allen has figured that about 2 minutes is the cutoff where it won't be worthwhile to put it into your system rather than do it now.

      You could have two different types of 2-minute someday/maybes: one is the type
      where the whole project will take 2 minutes; i.e. there's only one action in the
      project. It's probably worthwhile to do those when you run across them. The other
      type is where you can do a 2-minute action, but it won't actually do you any good
      unless you eventually do a bunch more actions on that project. Maybe it's still
      good to do those; or maybe you could set a 1-minute or 30-second rule for those
      instead; or maybe it depends on whether that 2 minutes of work will still do some
      good if you eventually do the rest of the project 3 years from now.

      It can also depend on how busy you are. You could make it a 30-second rule or
      a 5-minute rule depending on how much you're in a hurry to get through your
      inbox right now.

      Or, just keep it simple as always a 2-minute rule so you don't spend a lot of
      time standing there thinking "Let's see: shall I apply a 2-minute rule or a 1-minute
      rule to this one?" Actually, I find I can make those decisions quite quickly, usually.
      I figure if it's close to the borderline, then it doesn't matter that much which
      way I go. (The derivative is near-zero near the maximum, as my father pointed out.)

      Comment


      • #4
        Follow the two minute rule, but if there's a larger project behind that action that you're doing in two minutes then capture it and put it on your Projects or Someday/Maybe list.

        I seldom have anything on my Someday/Maybe list that's a single action. 99% of that list contains Projects that I've just not committed to doing now.

        Comment


        • #5
          Now that I think of it, I think David Allen defined the two-minute rule as
          applying to things you're definitely intending to do, so, as he formulated
          it, it wouldn't apply to someday-maybes. However, the way he described
          someday-maybes, they're all big, vague things like "go on a trip to Cuba";
          I don't think he would put a 2-minute action there, either. So I still stand
          by my first answer although it may not be strictly GTD.

          Comment


          • #6
            It took me a little while to figure out why this question seemed so weird. Taking another look at the Workflow cleared it up for me.

            According to the Workflow, here's how something ends up in Someday / Maybe: Stuff -> Inbox -> What is it? -> Is it Actionable? -> No -> Someday/Maybe.

            Which is to say: The only things that end up in Someday/Maybe are things that are not actionable, according to the Workflow. So there really isn't any point of application for the 2-Minute Rule.



            Cheers,
            Roger

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Roger View Post
              According to the Workflow, here's how something ends up in Someday / Maybe: Stuff -> Inbox -> What is it? -> Is it Actionable? -> No -> Someday/Maybe.
              Hey, Roger!

              I'm looking at the Workflow Map on my desk and "no" has three options: Reference, Trash and "Incubate (possible later action)". From the Incubate header it goes to Someday-Maybe or Date-specific triggers.

              So I think there's some flexibility there.

              I could take immediate action on most of my someday/maybes but they're not as much a priority as the things that are already on my projects and actions list. And that's really too bad, because there's some great stuff in there!

              Dena

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Roger View Post
                Which is to say: The only things that end up in Someday/Maybe are things that are not actionable, according to the Workflow. So there really isn't any point of application for the 2-Minute Rule.
                That may be the way GTD works, but it doesn't make sense to me. What does
                "actionable" mean?

                Perhaps two concepts are conflated in David Allen's definition of someday/maybe:
                the concept of something ("stuff") being too vague to suggest a specific action, and the
                concept of something you don't have time for now and might do next year or some
                other time. To me, these are quite different concepts.

                The things I put in someday/maybe are things I consider actionable. I'm just
                not planning to do them in the near future. If I don't consider something actionable,
                I might put it in reference.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Philosophy of the two minute rule

                  I always understood the whole idea behind the two minute rule was that if it was something you considered doing and it took you longer to write it down on your list than actually doing it, then you would be better of doing it.

                  That principle applies for that e-mail you need to send to a client because he's waiting for it. It also applies to that e-mail you're sending to an old friend ("how have you been") because the thaught crosses your mind that it has been a long time you heard from him and it takes you longer to write it down on your S/M list than to write the mail iteself.

                  Strictly speaking you then applied the two minute rule to a S/M item. Nothing wrong with it I think, just don't make a habbit of filling your day with that kind of items because it might get in the way of your productivity...

                  Myriam

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Myriam View Post

                    I always understood the whole idea behind the two minute rule was that if it was something you considered doing and it took you longer to write it down on your list than actually doing it, then you would be better of doing it.
                    This is definately a part of it.

                    The thing though is what if it is a two minute action, but you still can't do it in the context that you are in.

                    So if you are at the office, and you process your inbox and you come up with a 2 minute action, but you can only do that 2 minute action at home, then what do you do?

                    In this case you will have to put it into your system.

                    You could mark it with a "2 minute" tag which is what I do. This way you can select that "2 minute" tag if you are using an app, when you are in the right context. Or maybe mark a 2 beside it if you are using paper.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tado View Post
                      Personally I do use the 2min rule on a S/M maybe item thats landed in my inbox... but sometimes i feel I should just file it away and come back to it when its a active project... Is it a bad practice to use the 2min rule on a someday/maybe next action ?
                      I think this could be ok.

                      I have had times when I was doing my weekly review and looking over my someday/maybe lists, and either saw an action on there that was a 2 minute action that I could get done right away but the rest of it was left in the someday/maybe section.

                      also sometimes just reviewing your someday/maybe list might trigger in your head new actions that you never thought of before, or old actions that you forgot to put into your system, and if they are 2 minute actions you can do them right then and there.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by shane_k View Post
                        So if you are at the office, and you process your inbox and you come up with a 2 minute action, but you can only do that 2 minute action at home, then what do you do?
                        I believe David Allen's 2-minute rule applies to actions you're definitely planning
                        to do and can do right now -- that is, to actions for the context you're in.
                        So, as you say, 2-minute actions for other contexts go into your system.

                        I also generally apply the 2-minute rule when I'm recopying lists of actions.

                        That's a good idea, labelling them as 2-minute actions. I might do that;
                        or, I might not, because I might like to re-assess each time how long it will
                        take. For example, I might decide to write a short email instead of a long one,
                        or vice versa; and besides, my cutoff can be longer or shorter than 2 minutes
                        at different times.

                        Comment

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