Life Lesson: The Two-Minute Rule of Productivity

Friday, September 6, 2013 | Stamp in My Passport| |

Friday, September 6, 2013


Let's talk about being productive. Because as I am typing this post there are about five other homework assignments that I could and maybe should be working on, but I'm not because they aren't due within the next 12 hours.

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.)

8 comments:

YalĂ­ Noriega said...

Hi Jess. I do that too, leaving everything until the last moment (or the last week before it's due), because otherwise I get overwhelmed thinking too much. But the two minute rule sounds like a great start to get stuff done ahead of time!

Lix Hewett said...

My two-minute rule is basically that unless I get started on something two minutes after the initial burst of adding it to my to-do list (mental or otherwise), I'll definitely leave it till the last minute.

But giving it two minutes is a really good suggestion, too. I definitely find that the hardest part of anything is getting started.

Megan C. Stroup said...

I am definitely like you: The less I have to do, the less I get done, because I feel like I have so much free time to do it later. But I like this two-minute rule! Thanks for sharing.

Rachel said...

That's an interesting strategy! I've found that I'm best at last-minute productivity when it comes to housework. I'll plan to do a certain number of chores throughout the day....and I do them all in the last half hour before my husband gets home from work! :P But with school I've always been able to plan ahead pretty well.

Fran said...

I am an awful procrastinator! I might have to put this 2 minute rule into action haha

Tara said...

I totally agree! For me, the hardest part of going running is just walking out the door!

Melanie Montgomery said...

Yea, my biggest problem is actually starting something. Once I start something I definitely finish it. I'm gonna have to try this. :]

Trisha Agarwal said...

This is very true. I find myself to be very productive when i put this rule into use. If it takes two minutes or less, just do it right now. You’ll find your self staying in motion, and gettings things done.

http://goresult.in/