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.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Email Tips.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.
var l = window.location.href, d = document; document.write('<form action="#"><div style="text-align:center"><textarea cols="50" rows="2" onclick=";"><a href="'+l+'">'+d.title+'</a></textarea></div></form>');