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.