One touch one decision rule for email

by Clare

How do you apply the one touch one decision rule to emails that are longer than 2 minutes? The reason I ask is that I was reading about David Allen's 2 minute rule that you talked about in

Kell's response This is a really good time management question that is relevant maintaining focus and taking control of the email.

The two minute rule is to respond to any email that takes less than 2 minutes to reply to.


Because it is not worth putting into your time management system.

But what about emails that are more than 2 minutes?

Well, when you are batching your emails you are just trying to get through as many as you can.

I actually put an egg timer for 30 minutes, and in 30 minutes I can get through about 50 emails.

This does not mean I answer 50 emails there and then, but I can say that I actually make a decision on when I shall answer the email.

And by the time my 1/2 hour is up, I have an empty inbox.

So what I am doing is triaging my email.

Anything that is 2 minutes or less is responded to. Anything that is more than 2 minutes is put into my time management system.

Now there are many different time management systems out there. But for me, for any email that is 5-10 minutes goes into my tasks.

Any email that is 15 minutes or more, goes into my calendar.

The important thing is that there are no loose ends. There is a big difference between saying I will do it tomorrow to saying that I will do it tomorrow at 10am (and be reminded of it by my system).

This is how I apply the one-touch one-decision rule to email.

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