There’s a good book called Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress-free Productivity by David Allen, which is widely seen as the bible on productivity.

In the book, David introduces a simple concept called the 2-minute rule. It goes something like this:

Picture this: You walk into your room, and there’s a shirt lying on the bed. You could toss it into the laundry bin right away, or you could leave it there, thinking you’ll handle it later. If we apply the 2-minute rule, the decision is simple: this task will take less than 2 minutes, so into the laundry bin it goes.

The magic of this rule doesn’t just stop at tidying up our room. It extends to emails, phone calls, and other small tasks that would otherwise clutter our mind.

One reason why this helps our productivity so much is down to something known as the Zeigarnik Effect.

Basically, the Zeigarnik Effect is a psychological phenomenon where unfinished tasks keep bugging our brains. They linger there, taking up mental space. And, as a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found, they mess with our ability to focus and concentrate on the stuff we really need to do.

So, the 2-minute rule helps eliminate lingering thoughts, helping to clear our mind and make room for the important stuff we want to focus our time and energy on. It helps us to have a cleaner, more organised mental workspace.

Now, I’m not saying it’s always a walk in the park. Sometimes, we’ll still feel that pull to put things off. But, more often than not, the 2-minute rule will help our day to flow smoother and our to-do list shrink at a satisfying pace.

P.S. If you want to dive deeper into this concept, David Allen’s book is well worth a read. It’s packed with other productivity gems that could make your life that much more awesome.

Quote of the Day

Productivity is not about doing more things — it’s about doing the right things. Creativity and efficiency are all about choosing what not to do as much as choosing what to do
Tim Harford

Tool of the Day

📖 Instapaper

Instapaper is one of the best read-it-later apps around. If you come across an article on the internet, and don’t have time to read it there and then, you can chuck it onto Instapaper. Then, when you’ve got a moment (standing in a queue, sitting on a bus, etc.) you can open up Instapaper and have a read through the articles you’ve saved. The other great thing about Instapaper is that it’s cross-platform, so you can access your account and start reading from loads of different devices, so you can consume lots of interesting and useful info on the go.