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The Productivity Tip That Changed My Life

proxiesapi profile image Mohan Ganesan Originally published at ・2 min read

There is this weird chasm between thought and action where many dreams have died a sad death. I would, for years, get confused about handling tasks. If I have a list of tasks, I could either start without a plan and get some of them done haphazardly or sit down and come up with an idea and organize everything before I jumped into action. Both of these approaches had issues.

With the first method, I would get random stuff done, but they never added up to anything profound and valuable, and I would miss opportunities that I would have seen if I had taken time out to plan.

With the second way, I would freeze and would never get started and would soon begin procrastinating and would keep planning forever.

The 2-minute rule
This tip by David Allen, the author of getting things done, changed all that.

He argues that if I can do something in less than 2 minutes, I don’t have to put it into a planning system like even a to-do list. The effort takes to put into a system and process. It is offset by the fact that I can do it not and finish it off. It never has to appear on paper anywhere.

Like just a while ago, I remembered that I had not paid my mobile phone provider bill. Instead of writing it down somewhere, I know that I could pay using the ISP’s app in under a minute. So I just went ahead and did that.

It turns out that many projects have a ton of “tasks” that take 2 minutes or less. Instead of making a “big deal” about them and putting them on a to-do list, you can do them when writing down the to-do list. So the act of writing the to-do list could be a trigger to finish a lot of 2-minute tasks.

It’s funny how many of my “Big projects” are held up because of this 2-minute task not done.

It happens especially when you start and also when you finish a project. These rules enabled me to code and launch my SAAS product, Proxies API in under a month. I teach this rule to every new hire I make in the company. It’s fun to get an instant boost in everyone’s productivity by showing them this. After all, it only takes 2 mins to teach them this.

The author is the founder of Proxies API, a proxy rotation API service.

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