The two minute rule for email

by Kell

Do you butterfly across emails, only to read them again and again with actioning the email?

If you procrastinate on emails or re-read emails without determining your next action - then the two minute rule may be an "Aha" moment for you.

The two minute rule puts an end to multiple handling on emails which increases stress and reduces overall work performance.

The basic idea of the rule is that if an email is going to take two minutes or less then do it now.

Why....because it is not worth your time to put it into your time management system.

The two minute rule does not just apply to email but to all forms of tasks that make up the workflow of a day.

The two minute rule comes from David Allen's book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity and is a great framework for dealing with work in the modern business.

What types of tasks do people find they can get done inside two minutes?

Jack’s reply

There are many other ways to use the two minute rule other than replying to a quick email. I also use it to:
  • make quick phone calls

  • file stuff in my soft folders or my Inbox folders

  • respond to meeting requests

  • dedicate emails to tasks or schedule into my calendar

  • sync my iPhone

Vince Poscente’s Reply

Thanks for the ideas on the two minute rule. I never thought of it that way.

I tend to filter by now or not now. 'Not now' being the knee jerk tendency.

I also find that channeling emails to specified folders helps a great deal too.

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