Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
2-min rule... Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 2-min rule...

    In light of the recent DAC podcast on processing... I was hoping to hear more mentioned about the 2-min rule. I was interested in hearing about how folks on the forum use it in their processing.

    Do you set a timer? or just go with your intuitive hunch?

    Does the 2-min stretch out to 5 min when you have an empty schedule in front of you?

    Thanks,
    Erik

  • #2
    I used to just go off my intuitive hunches but I found that I was erroring on both sides of the equation. Some actions I thought were < 2 minute actions really weren't, and vice versa.

    To sharpen and test my hunches I installed a simple desktop timer named TimeLeft. It's easy to use and it's free. I start the two-minute timer the moment I decide to do an action under the two-minute rule. If the buzzer goes off I stop doing and add the action to a list (unless I'm so close to finishing that it's not sensible to stop).

    The most common type of misidentified two minute task that I encounter is a "quick" search on the web. Too frequently I find myself running down a rabbit trail ten minutes later. I almost always add those kinds of actions to my lists because rarely does a web search truly end in two minutes.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by gtderik View Post
      Does the 2-min stretch out to 5 min when you have an empty schedule in front of you?
      Yep! I'm not sure if it should or not, but it does.

      Comment


      • #4
        The real value of the 2 minutes rule

        For me you can find the real value of the 2 minutes rule when you apply it outside the weekly review. Applying it every day you can have an incredible benefit.

        The 2 minutes for me are only symbolic. The point is that you must learn the exact duration of 2 minutes in your head. Using a timer you can learn that. When you learn it, you don't need a timer any more and you have the choice to do or not to do a +2 minutes task.

        An important criteria using this rule is what works better for you. If you feel better doing a task until that will last more than 2 minutes, do it. On the other hand, if you know that a task will last more than 2 minutes and you don't want to do that at the moment, write it down and do it in another moment.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by gtderik View Post
          In light of the recent DAC podcast on processing... I was hoping to hear more mentioned about the 2-min rule. I was interested in hearing about how folks on the forum use it in their processing.

          Do you set a timer? or just go with your intuitive hunch?

          Does the 2-min stretch out to 5 min when you have an empty schedule in front of you?
          Sometimes I use a timer if I think I can finish this action in two minutes, but I possibly can run down the rabbit holes. At other times it is fairly clear that this has no rabbit holes, so I don't care about exactly how much it takes, may be one minute, may be four.

          And sure, it helps to extend it to 5 minutes when you have a free day. It gets a lot done. But the same warning is due here: that 5 minutes can easily turn into 50 if you run down the rabbit holes. But otherwise it can get a lot actually done.

          Regards,
          Abhay

          Comment


          • #6
            I rarely use the 2-minute rule, and I never use it in weekly reviews. The shift in focus required to work the item instead of just putting it in the system costs me more time than I'd save. I'd lose the rapid "flow" of doing the review, and have to regain it.

            I'd say that the only time that I really use the two-minute rule is when new emails come in. If I really can respond in less than two minutes, and I'm already shifting focus (or I wouldn't be checking my email), I'll respond.

            Now, I may specifically sit down to knock off a lot of two-minute tasks, but that's different - those tasks are already in my system.

            Gadener

            Comment


            • #7
              I try to stick to 2 minutes but I do have an exception when processing. I often find it takes me more than 2 minutes to create a project, a next action, and a brief project plan. Most of this is thinking the outcome through. It doesn't usually take 5 minutes (I've timed it) but I don't sweat this bit of planning time during the processing stage.

              I try to be very rigid with the 2 minute rule the rest of the time however.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gardener View Post
                I rarely use the 2-minute rule, and I never use it in weekly reviews. The shift in focus required to work the item instead of just putting it in the system costs me more time than I'd save. I'd lose the rapid "flow" of doing the review, and have to regain it.

                I'd say that the only time that I really use the two-minute rule is when new emails come in. If I really can respond in less than two minutes, and I'm already shifting focus (or I wouldn't be checking my email), I'll respond.

                Now, I may specifically sit down to knock off a lot of two-minute tasks, but that's different - those tasks are already in my system.

                Gadener
                nd for me the only time when 2 mins rule really worked is when new emails come in

                Comment


                • #9
                  I always feel like saying something can be done in "2 minutes" is more like, "it can be done fairly quickly, needs no other input or research, and the only thing stopping me is that it's boring or I'm feeling lazy"!

                  To take a silly example - if I need to write a short letter to my gran, just to say hi I might put it off because I'm a terrible grandson But applying the "2 minute rule", I would say it's something I can do immediately, needs no external help or information, and I should get on and do it. Even if it might take longer than a strict 2 minutes, it's a relatively quick uncomplicated task that can be done NOW.

                  Similarly, if I need to call my mobile phone company, I know I'll probably be on hold for a while which might take longer than 2 minutes. But if I have a bit of time, I'd just do it straight away - it doesn't need any more input, the only thing stopping me is that it's a hassle.

                  Using the 2-minute rule like this I find is quite handy, because it shakes me out of my "I can't be bothered" mind-set for tasks that I can put off, but should really get off my bum and do!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by El_Stiff View Post
                    I always feel like saying something can be done in "2 minutes" is more like, "it can be done fairly quickly, needs no other input or research, and the only thing stopping me is that it's boring or I'm feeling lazy"!

                    To take a silly example - if I need to write a short letter to my gran, just to say hi I might put it off because I'm a terrible grandson But applying the "2 minute rule", I would say it's something I can do immediately, needs no external help or information, and I should get on and do it. Even if it might take longer than a strict 2 minutes, it's a relatively quick uncomplicated task that can be done NOW.

                    Similarly, if I need to call my mobile phone company, I know I'll probably be on hold for a while which might take longer than 2 minutes. But if I have a bit of time, I'd just do it straight away - it doesn't need any more input, the only thing stopping me is that it's a hassle.

                    Using the 2-minute rule like this I find is quite handy, because it shakes me out of my "I can't be bothered" mind-set for tasks that I can put off, but should really get off my bum and do!
                    I like what you posted. I find these are the types of actions that I will quickly put on my context lists and that then stay there a long time. They are also the types of activities that feel great when they get done, since I know they are fairly easy but irksome. Just this past week I was able to get a charge removed from a bill and I changed my family's health plan coverage. Both were phone calls that could take anywhere from under 2-min to however long I would be on hold. I took care of them right out of the inbox. But I didn't have anything pressing at the moment, so time wasn't a real consideration.

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X