Productivity guru, David Allen, has established an almost cult like following, particularly among the younger generation. While I’m not a David Allen junky and my knowledge of David Allen’s “Gettings Things Done” method is elementary, I think his system is straight forward, simple and make sense. I also think that, at its heart, Allen’s system is largely about fostering discipline in time management and organization.
Today I read an article of his on handling urgent tasks. More specifically, being consumed with urgent tasks.
“Ignoring secondarily important actions and projects because you are too busy and concerned with urgent things fosters continual crisis management. It never self-corrects; it self-perpetuates. Where do fires and crises come from? Usually from not-so-urgent things that people ignore because they are distracted by the crises of the moment. Then, ignored, they cause the next fires and crises.” LINK
Allen’s logic rings true. Proper time management requires having the discipline to appropriately prioritize our time and not simply allocate it to the task that screams loudest for attention. Allen suggest adhering to his two minute rule. That is, if a task will take two minutes or less, do it immediately. If a task is a two minute task and it isn’t important enough to do right away, it likely isn’t important enough to do at all.
By adhering to the two minute rule, one can avoid having require items turn into crisis situations. And on that note, I have other tasks to tend to.