I learned the 2-minute rule in this book, “Getting Things Done”. The two-minute rule is this: If you can do something in 2 minutes, stop and do it right then! It will save you so much time down the line. Think of things on your to-do list that if you stopped and did them right now it would literally only take you 2-minutes. Instead we often (me included) keep them on our list, transfer them to a new list, think about them 100 times and so on. We end up spending way too much time thinking about something that would’ve only taken 2 minutes if we would’ve done it right away.
This is especially good for emails. If you can answer or act on an email in 2 minutes, do it and then delete the email or file it. Now, obviously you will have plenty of to-do’s that do not fit into this category. For those you can either delegate or defer. Delegate it to someone more qualified and/or defer it to a later date. However, when you defer to a later day you MUST set an appointment with yourself to get it done and STICK to the appointment (I’m guilty of continuing to move it to another date on my calendar, which in turn is requiring more and more of my time).
Try it out today, see what to-do you can accomplish in 2-minutes and Just Do It!