Episode #79: David Allen with a Two-minute Tip—The Two-minute Rule

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Podcast Transcript

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
The Two-minute Rule

Actually, it’s a tip I’d give anybody any time.

And those of you familiar with the Getting Things Done methodology will know this already. The Two Minute Tool.

The Two Minute Tool basically says, look, any action you’ve figured out that you could actually complete within two minutes, of where you are in the context you are, in the location you are, you’re better off to that right then than to hang up on it, not do it, put it in the backlog or whatever.

Frankly, that’s the efficiency factor. It would take you less than two minutes to do it, but it would take you longer than two minutes to look at it again and review it and reflect on it later on. So this is a pure efficiency factor of the Two-minute Rule.

Anything you can do in less than two minutes, if you need to do it at all then do it right then. And people say, well if I spent my whole day two minute stuff I’d never get anything else done. Well first of all, you’d be amazed as to how many strategic things have just a two minute action that are required on it. And not only that, why should these things still be around?

You either delete them, or if they’ve shown up, then they should be finished in the moment they’re there. I never have any backlog of two minute stuff because they’re all done.

First of all, the key thing is to decide what’s the very next action on something I need to do about any of this change that’s happening, any of this stuff I’m involved in right now. What would I need to do next? Once you’ve decided very clearly and specifically what that is if you can do it in less then two minutes, do it right then. Teflon, boom! In and out. You’ll be amazed. I’ve had many executives tell me that was worth the price of admission. Just for that habit, if they didn’t have that already. So hopefully you’ve built that in, or you will build that in.

If it takes less then two minutes, do it.

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