How I Use The 2-Minute Rule At Home

Karina Keith

Later isn’t always better Life is busy. At the end of day filled with work, errands and mom duty, I’m pooped. So, when the topic …

Later isn’t always better

2 minute ruleLife is busy. At the end of day filled with work, errands and mom duty, I’m pooped. So, when the topic for this month’s blog came up (personal productivity), I thought I’d write about my mind shift. My ‘life is busy’ was becoming my excuse for my laziness at putting things away properly at home, until I borrowed from the simple rule I use at work.

I’m a well-organized person at work. I get stuff done. If something takes less than a couple minutes to do, I generally do it right away rather than adding it to my to-do list.

This rule didn’t translate well to my home. After a snack, I’d stack my dishes in the sink. When getting ready for bed, I’d drop my sweater at the end of the bed and climb in, thankful to finally be horizontal. Even the mail got dumped on the stairs creating visual clutter right when you walk in, yuk! My clutter, combined with my family’s clutter, was starting to drive me crazy. But the ‘life is busy’ along with feeling like there weren’t enough hours in the day to change this craziness was my built in excuse.

I decided to borrow the 2-minute rule from David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things DoneIf it takes less than two minutes, then do it now, and implement it at home.

I have this rule down pat at work. Except for me, it’s more like the 5-minute rule – if it takes less than 5 minutes, do it now versus adding it to my to-do list. My personal life wasn’t enjoying this motto. So I decided I’d give it a try.

It’s surprising how much I can get done in 5 minutes, and as a result, how many steps I cut out. Putting one plate and one cup straight into the dishwasher and bypassing dropping them in the sink saves me time and I touch those dishes one less time. Hanging my sweater back up at the end of the day and eliminating a mountain of clothes that I need to address when my laziness no longer gets the better of me (the end of the week) has been bliss. Sorting the mail when I bring it in the door now just makes so much sense. By using the 5 minute rule at home, the clutter really has been addressed. It’s amazing!


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Karina Keith is a consultant with CornerStone Dynamics Inc. 'Katching up with Karina' blogs focus on the top web finds for the month. Aligning project goals along with truly understanding what motivates people to get their jobs done is what Karina does best.

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