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!

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Written by Maeve Strathy

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