This week, I’ve been experimenting with the 2-minute rule from David Allen’s Getting Things Done - The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. This book is widely regarded as the 'Productivity Bible' among the productivity grease-monkey community.
In it, there’s a rather simple concept that I think is potentially life-changing. Here is how it goes:
If a task will take less than 2 minutes, do it now.
If it will take longer, write it down.
Several times throughout this week, I’ve made the conscious effort to practice this rule.
When there is a bowl that needs to be washed, the coffee filter that needs to be cleaned out, the email that I have to reply, or the laundry that I have to pick up, I make it a point to do it once it comes to mind. If I’m not there physically, I take a note in my Todoist app, tag it under 'Along the Way' and complete the task once I’m physically able to do so.
Initially, I thought this would interrupt my 'flow', something that Cal Newport is incredibly bullish about in his bestseller book, Deep Work.
However, I came to realize how misled I was. Instead of hopping onto my bed and mindlessly scrolling through the endless Instagram Explore Page (which has a knack for making time fly by), completing a 2-minute task actually keeps me more engaged with the work I’m doing. Instead of being distracted and turning a 5-minute break into a 50-minute one, I keep myself pre-occupied with these short tasks and feel re-energized when I cross them off my to-do list.
We all know these tasks. Those day-to-day maintenance tasks that are never-ending. They never take much time but we always feel so much resistance to get to it. By completing these short tasks that literally takes less than 120 seconds, we save ourselves from the trouble of forgetting them and regretting later, not to mention the distractions we manage to avoid.
In fact, here is a two-minute task for you. If you found this issue at all interesting, consider sharing it with a friend and share it on your social media! I don’t make anything out of these newsletters but I would absolutely love for my writing to benefit more people. The more they do, the less the time cost for writing these articles and newsletters. (and I get small dopamine hits whenever someone tells me my writing added value to their life😊)
With that said, I hope that this fun little productivity hack that is I find very amusing and am hence sharing with you today adds value to your life in some shape, way, or form.
Have a great week ahead and see you in the next issue of Sunday Scoop!
- 📚 Book - This week, I’ve started on a book called "When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi. It’s a bestselling memoir written by a dying doctor and it is genuinely such a moving read. I’m not done with the book just yet but I’d highly recommend you read it. If you’re more of an audiobook listener, I’ve taken the liberty to search one for you (legally) so that you can enjoy it as well while you’re doing passive tasks.
2. 🎧 Podcast - This week, I came across an interesting new podcast show called 'The Table Talk Podcast'. Honestly, my best find of the week. It’s a Malaysian podcast and hence it’s really comfortable to listen to. Their accents are familiar and their stories resonated so well with me. I’d reckon this podcast is one I would definitely visit when I’m away from Malaysia in about a year’s time.
In particular, you should listen to this episode about culture shock. Amazingly insightful especially for students about to go overseas.
Do you have any 2-minute tasks you could be doing right now?
Tweet of the Week
I'm venturing into content creation because I recognize that I could never be where I am today if others weren't generous with their knowledge to me.— Jia Shing (@JiaShingWee) August 22, 2020
The drive is to provide value; the dream, to inspire.
Here's to a more fulfilled, intentionally productive and happy life.
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