If you’re a busy person with a lot of different responsibilities you have to pack in into one day, you likely often find yourself rushing from task to task as fast as possible. If your time is especially limited, it may cause you stress to even figure out what task you should focus on first. Auto insurance claims adjuster J.R. Heimbigner swears by a new productivity hack that can help even the most stressed out among us accomplish what needs to get done without losing our mind. It’s called the two-minute rule and it involves taking the time to break down tasks and figure out how and when each item will be accomplished, according to NBC News.
The original Two-Minute Rule technique was created by author David Allen who discussed the method in his popular book, Getting Things Done. Heimbigner has been using it for the past year and his life has been transformed as a result. Before even beginning his work day, Heimbigner takes 15-30 minutes in the morning to look over his to-do list for the day. He then asks himself four different questions before approaching each task.
The 2 Minute Rule! The general productivity consensus is if a task takes less than two minutes to complete, finish it immediately. pic.twitter.com/fa11iEdxKp— All Pro Media (@allpromedia) August 30, 2017
The first question to consider is whether or not the item at hand can be accomplished in two minutes or less. If it can, he goes ahead and completes it right then and there. This is a great way to knock out some of the smaller tasks right away and make the list seem a little shorter and more manageable. When looking at the remaining tasks, he asks himself if they are truly his responsibility or someone else’s. If they really belong on someone else’s agenda, he delegates them.
The next question is perhaps the simplest, he asks himself if the task is truly important. If it is not, he deletes it. Finally, when looking at the items he has left, he schedules when he will complete each one based on how time-consuming he expects it to be.
Heimbigner uses this technique when dealing with everything from emails to phone calls and even sorting through paperwork.
“It really helps me move from one task to the next very quickly. Most phone calls don’t last longer than 2 minutes unless it’s going to be very in-depth, and if it’s going to be in-depth, I schedule that another time. I really feel like I can move through the rest of the day without these urgent fires taking over me.”