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2-Minute Tasks

One of the principles outlined in David Allen's "Getting Things Done" is that of immediately executing those items on our "to do" lists that take 2 minutes or less. Of course, this assumes you're good at identifying those things that are "2-minute tasks" vs. all the rest.

This morning as my wife was leaving to run errands she commented that she nearly decapitated herself on the metal bracket hanging down from the open garage door. This state of affairs is the result of a minor repair project I've undertaken, as our garage door opener has been broken for nearly 2 months. Unfortunately during the disassembly, I neglected to take the opener bracket arm off of the garage door, and this morning my wife encountered it while she was putting things into our Suburban, leading me to my "2-minute task."

How long does it take to remove a bracket? It should be a 2-minute task, and thankfully today it was. Unfortunately, many situations like this crop up in my daily life, and the tasks become projects (or at least longer-running tasks) for a couple of key reasons:
  1. I'm unable to quickly put my hands on the tool(s) needed to complete the task, and
  2. I misjudged the skills or information needed to achieve my goal
Today I got lucky. I knew exactly where the wrenches were that I needed, and unscrewing a bolt-and-nut combination is hardly rocket science, so I completed my 2-minute task and moved on with my day. Having done so, however, has got me thinking about ways I can better organize the tools I use and improve my access to information to assist me in acquiring the skill(s) needed to complete my various "2-minute tasks" and thus improve my productivity.

Here's to our collective "2-minute tasks" -- may we organize to get them done quickly and efficiently without letting them rule our destiny.

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