Let me tell you how this fantastic thing happened.
My wife and I have been blessed with children - so our home is a busy one.
As anyone who has cared for children will know, not everything gets done when you want it to.
Young kids seem to have this uncanny ability of taking priority over everything else - no matter how inconvenient. I can speak from experience because I've been living this beautiful reality for quite a number of years.
I may even have some unresolved issues involving stand-offs over demands for melted cheese on toast at bedtimes. But that's another story.
In our busy family my wife often finds it hard to get everything done.
By the way, the challenges can be quite similar when you run a business, especially if you don't have good systems and you try to do everything yourself - you run around, getting interrupted constantly by urgent matters, and you are the only one who is responsible, knows what to do, and how to do it right.
Back to the story:
Over the past week I have been noticing my wife bustling around and seeming to get a lot more done than usual. Which is impressive since she juggles a lot in her day normally. So the other day I was re-assembling and putting together one of the kids little beds. Literally as soon as I was done she flew into the room with laser focus and bedding. Pillows flew everywhere and by the time I turned around the bed was neatly made and ready to be slept in.
Intrigued, I asked her what was going on. To my surprise she starts telling me proudly how she listened to what I said last week and that it was working really well for her. Now she really had my attention. I mean, I think I say a lot of cool things but I have noticed my wife does not always agree.
I've been trying out a tip I read recently - if a task is likely to take two minutes or less, then do it straight away. This avoids procrastination and will get rid of a good portion of your task list quickly. I was having some success with this myself and now my wife was telling me it was working for her.
This principle can be found in David Allen's book "Getting Things Done". In his words: "I have a two-minute rule that says: If you determine an action can be done in two minutes, you actually should do it right then because it’ll take longer to organise it and review it than it would be to actually finish it the first time you notice it."
Basically, any task that comes up in your day that can be handled in less than two minutes, should be dealt with immediately. The last thing you want is a to-do list with 100 tasks when most of them can be ticked off with very little effort.
If it won’t take long, do it now.
Give it a go for yourself in busy December - let me know if it works for you!
If you are really brave, like me, pass on this tip to your partner (or employees) and see if you can make them more productive too :)