I've noticed that I am most productive when under a time crunch and deadline. My extremely organized side recognizes upcoming projects and assignments weeks in advance and I know that I should start working on them, and many times I do. But it's not until I get down to the wire that I focus and check items off my to-do list faster than New Yorkers lined up for the cronut.
Does this describe you, too?
If there is one thing that school has taught me, it is how to procrastinate. The problem is some of my best work comes when I do it in a hurry. When looking too far in advance on my calendar, I become bogged down with how much needs to get done. Instead of prioritizing, I do nothing at all and scroll through my twitter feed for the twentieth time that hour.
I was reading an article yesterday about the two-minute rule of productivity. If it is a task you can accomplish in under two minutes like emptying the dishwasher or cleaning your email inbox, get it done right away. If the task at hand will take longer than two minutes, then spend at least two minutes getting started. If your goal is to go to the gym more often, then at least put on your tennis shoes and walk out the door. Once you have made that initial action, you are more likely to finish out the task. Want to start reading the book for book club instead of just skimming reviews? Spend two minutes reading the first few pages. Chances are you will get hooked and won't want to put the book down.
So the next time, your to-do list is a mile long, just take two minutes to start tackling those items because don't we all know that crossing several items off quickly makes us feel more productive? Just two minutes. What could you have accomplished in the time it took you to read this post? (Although I am glad you read to the end.)