The 2-Minute Rule

This is a game changer, folks!

The 2-Minute Rule. 

I learned about this one from the one and only Rachel Hunnybun (yes, that is her real name), who I presented with last week at Toronto’s #AFPCongress.

We presented a session called “How to Make Waves Without Drowning”, which was about stress and burnout, how to combat both through productivity and self-care, and how to make changes when you need to through critical conversations and decision-making.

In the productivity section, Rachel talked about the 2-minute rule, which is:

If the task will take 2 minutes or less to complete, don’t even put it on your to do list. Do it now.

Let me backtrack. I am not good at estimating how long something will take me. I usually over-estimate; it’s why I can be incredibly and unnecessarily early for meetings.

It’s also why I can procrastinate. I think something is going to take an hour or more to do, and I don’t have an hour to do it at the moment I’m thinking of doing it, so I don’t do it… and then I continue to not do it until I get in hot water.

As a result, I’m working on working smarter and faster, and the 2-minute rule has become a tool (in just the past week) that is helping me do this.

As I build my daily/weekly/master to do list, I think hard about how long each item might take before I write it down, and if it meets the 2-minute rule, I just do it!

Short-term results? I only have four emails in my work inbox right now.

My inbox is typically a reflection of my short-term / urgent to do items, so four emails = @fundraisermaeve is a productive woman.

Try it out yourself! And let me know your results!


Written by Maeve Strathy

Maeve is the Founder of What Gives Philanthropy and has been working in fundraising for eleven years.
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