Do you know the 2-minute productivity rule? It goes like this:
If a task takes 2 minutes or less to complete, then do it now.
I first read it in Getting Things Done by David Allen which is a very useful book and I recommend it to everyone.
I like all the productivity rules and tricks that help me optimize my time. And the 2-minute rule is one that helped me immensely. It applies to lots of small tasks: getting up and putting away a book into its correct place, ordering some items online, paying bills.
But most importantly it applies to all those tasks that are easy but unpleasant like responding to emails when we can’t accept an invitation or offer. We hate disappointing people so letting someone know that we won’t come to a meeting or can’t help them with something is difficult. I used to procrastinate on it a lot but now if an answer is obvious and I don’t need to consider it, then I answer at once.
If I catch myself thinking that I need to add something to my to-do list, I consider if it’s something simple that could be done quickly. If the answer is yes, then I do it right away.