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2-minute rule in Weekly review

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  • 2-minute rule in Weekly review

    Like many others, I've found the 2-minute rule to be an enormously powerful tool when processing "IN." Gets a lot of stuff done and moving forward before it even has a chance to stall.

    Has anyone had experience, positive or negative, in using the rule when doing the Weekly Review?

    Here's an example of how this might come up: An action item comes up when I'm on the go. I write it down and dump it into my portable "IN" folder.

    Later, I'm processing "IN" into my system, and I come upon the action item. It's not a big action, but for some reason I can't do it while processing right then and there (because I'm on a plane, or it's 2am and the action is to call someone, or whatever). So the action goes onto a context-based action list to be done later.

    A few days later, I'm doing my weekly review, and while reviewing my context action lists I come upon this action item. It hasn't been done yet, and in the present time and place I could do the action in two minutes. But I'm not in processing mode -- I'm doing my weekly review!

    Does it make sense to pause the review in order to knock off the action? Or better to leave the action on the list to be done later, and not leave the high-level strategic mindset of the WR by getting bogged down in a runway-level action?

    Like everything else in GTD I know the real answer is "Do whatever works best for you." I'm just interested in thought or experiences anyone might be able to share.


  • #2
    It depends on how much time you have to do your weekly review. If you want to stretch it out, go ahead and do those quick items. But if you write them down to be done immediately at the end of the weekly review or some other time, your weekly review will take less time. Personally, I set aside 30 minutes every day to work on the 2 to 5 minute items on my list. I call them "quick wins" and that is just when I know I'll do them. That way I don't worry about them during my weekly (or daily) review.


    • #3
      Mind on Task at Hand

      I do not typically do them. To me it is like doing any other project. To stop working on my project at hand to do a two minute task would break my train of thought. Just like when I am working on any other project. The two minute rule works well during Processing because you are picking up one distinct item at a time and focusing on it. During the Week Review I am focused on organizing my goals, projects, etc. So I tend to not do other tasks.


      • #4
        I always do 2-minute actions rather than putting them into the system, weekly review or not, since it takes longer to list and review the action downstream than it does to do it in the first place. Doing a 2-minute action is processing it. But if any action takes any longer than 2 minutes, it would break my concentration in doing the review, so it goes on the lists.


        • #5
          Most likely it's a context thing. I've been there a lot, as well. A lot of times, if it's grabbed your attention like that, during the WR, and you know it won't bog you down and ruin the rest of your review, then I would say do it. Again, that's the beauty of GTD, in my opinion. Yes, there are certain "rules" to follow, but you're still driven by your intuition. Only you can know the value of doing that particular task at that particular moment.


          • #6
            I find I can best focus on my weekly review when I'm out of the office. The best place is a private study room in the local public library. Although I have my laptop, I'm not distracted by the Internet (no wifi: how 2003).

            The bottom line is that in my situation, there are few 2-minute tasks that can be done without Web, phone, email, or paper files on hand. The upside is, of course, that there are very few distractions, making the weekly review a very satisfying end to the work week.