Life is full of rules. They’re largely designed to prevent bad things from happening. However, in the world of productivity, some rules can help us get more done. The quicker and easier they are to follow, the more they help.
Consider how these simple rules can help you.
- Ten-Second Rule. David Allen, author of “Getting Things Done,” is famous for the two-minute rule. It states that if something takes less than two minutes to do, do it now instead of waiting. Unfortunately, many things in our frenetic days take less than two minutes to do. Instead of abandoning the idea behind Mr. Allen’s rule – that clearing small tasks immediately is good – why not just shorten the timeline? The ten-second rules states that if something takes less than ten seconds to do, do it now instead of waiting until later. Quick approvals, acknowledgments, and requests for time are examples of things that take less than ten seconds. However, things that require any thought take more than ten seconds. Those tasks should be deferred until there is appropriate time to give them the attention they need.
- Every Trip Rule. The every trip rule states that every time you leave your workspace, take one thing out with you. Take filing to an assistant or work/questions to a colleague. Make the trip doubly productive. Consider how many trips we make each day. Doubling the productivity of those trips is a huge win for us, our colleagues and our clients.
- No One Left Behind Rule. This rule states that at the end of the day, stop and take a moment to make sure all open (unresolved) efforts are closed up. Finalize any open emails, make notes on work efforts that must wait until the morrow, or return a couple of calls. Putting closure on the day maximizes productivity, as well as peace of mind.
Some Rules Are Worth It
Streamlining workflow results in higher productivity and greater efficiency. Rules are a component part of an effective workflow. Can the above rules help you get more done so you’re making better use of your time?