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Mastering Productivity: The solution to procrastination

The 2 minute rule

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Do you recall that book you've been meaning to read or that critical document that you must write for your staff, yet you're putting it off because you don’t enjoy it enough for you to prioritize it?

Well, here’s a rule that you can use to solve this:

The ‘2-minute rule’ by David Allen (author of ‘Getting Things Done’):

If the task you’re procrastinating takes less than 2 minutes to complete: you just need to do it right away. This is more efficient than putting it off and reviewing it later.

If the task takes more than 2 minutes to complete, you should scale it down to a 2-minute version. For example:

  • Reading every night’ becomes 'Reading one page

  • Writing that critical document’ becomes ‘Opening up the document and writing down the title

  • Running 5 miles’ becomes ‘putting on your running shoes

The idea is to make starting as easy as possible. Starting a new task should not feel like a challenge. The actions that follow can be challenging, but the first two minutes should be easy.

The 2-minute task simply acts as a ‘gateway task’ to the bigger task at hand. This rule will lead you to a more productive life.

  • Why this works

  • And what to do if it feels like a trick

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