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The 2-minute Rule for Productivity

Apr 07, 2022
The 2-minute Rule for Productivity

How many open loops (unfinished or incomplete tasks) do you have in your mind right now?

Emails to reply to, text messages to respond to, tax returns to complete, school admin, events or meetings to plan, people to follow up with…

So many right?

Our brain is wired to look for open loops - it’s called the Zeigarnik Effect. Essentially we remember interrupted or incomplete tasks more easily than tasks that have been completed.

When we have too many open loops it can feel stressful and it interferes with our ability to be productive.

Today, I wanted to share with you a very simple productivity hack (and if you have done some of my free workshops you might have heard me share about this).

This is called the 2-minute rule, which I learned from Matt Serna. The basic premise is that if the task takes less than 2 minutes to do, then do the task now. If it takes longer than 2 minutes then schedule it for later (or I recommend batching it and doing it together with similar tasks).

The exception to the 2-minutes rule is when you are doing deep uninterrupted work with all phones, notifications and alerts off - this is not the time to take action on anything else other than the task at hand.


So try it out today - look at your tasks or your emails and messages and if it takes less than 2 minutes, take the action immediately and wipe it off the open-loop list (or schedule it to be done), allowing your brain to finally take a breather.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list, start taking small consistent actions.

This Life Admin Checklist (which you may have downloaded in the past) is a great way to get on top of your list to do.

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