The 2 minute rule

horsesandI

Farm or city – we’ve been there. The list on your phone or fridge is getting longer and longer. Looking at it makes you a little anxious. You might knock off one or two things a day, but it never seems to really get any shorter. What’s going on? How do I respect my time and make better use of it, leaving more for time with family, self-care, or my passions?

This is how. My 2-minute rule.

Let’s take a look at my own to-do list as an example. Pull out yours even, and follow along with me.

We have:

  • vacuum the stairs
  • wash the Jeep
  • email my boss and give them a small update
  • shoot an email off to a local business
  • take daily meds
  • go for a walk
  • deep condition hair
  • brush Jujube, the cat
  • call the pharmacy
  • finish writing caption for tomorrow’s Facebook page post

Now be honest with yourself, how many of those things have you been putting off or procrastinating? You might have even had a few tempting thoughts regarding some of these, thoughts like, “Oh, I can do that later, it doesn’t need to be today” or “I’m not in the mood for that right now”. For me, almost all of these to-do list items were still on there due to prior procrastination. They didn’t need to be there. Highlight the stuff that you’ve put off at least once.

  • vacuum the stairs
  • wash the Jeep
  • email my boss and give them a small update
  • shoot an email off to a local business
  • take daily meds
  • go for a walk
  • deep condition hair
  • brush Jujube, the cat
  • call the pharmacy
  • finish writing caption for tomorrow’s Facebook page post

The stuff you haven’t highlighted, you either have no problems doing, or have not yet put it off unnecessarily for another day. Don’t overwhelm yourself, there’s no need to worry about these! Let’s focus on our highlights.

Which of your highlighted items are something that you can easily get started? Which can be completed in a few minutes? These fall under the 2-minute rule. They are items that won’t take much time to complete, and are only serving to stress you out and clutter the work you’ve put into organizing what you need to do.

Get rid of them. No thinking, no planning, no tuning into the chatter in your head telling you what you think about each item. ONLY DO.

  • vacuum the stairs

Takes 3 seconds to pull out the vacuum, and the stairs aren’t that long. I did this right after breakfast, before I could even complain in my head.

  • email my boss and give them a small update
  • shoot an email off to a local business

Opened my mail app, and start typing the recipients into the TO: box. The rest of the email practically wrote itself after that!

  • deep condition hair

This morning I made a little change. I wouldn’t even let myself hop into the shower, skipping this important step for the umpteenth time, before grabbing the deep conditioner out from under the sink and lathering my hair in it.

  • brush Jujube, the cat

No prep, no excuses. I grabbed the brush and did it.

  • call the pharmacy

Typed the number into my phone, and pressed call. You can’t talk yourself out of it if the phone is already ringing!

 

What’s the lesson here? Don’t let those 2-minute tasks latch onto your to-do list and hitch a free ride! As soon as they need doing, it’s always best to do them right away. You’ll find that your life is carrying less stress, and it’s very freeing to focus and plan what really matters.

That list now?

  • wash the Jeep
  • take daily meds
  • go for a walk
  • finish writing caption for tomorrow’s Facebook page post

Clean, simple, and elegant. Just the way we all want our lives to be. ❤︎

 

What’s your version of the 2-minute rule, if you have one? Or your very own secret tip to becoming more happy and productive? Please share them in the comments! xx

Shavonne