Sorry for the delay.
Originally Posted by ihunter
As far as the two minute rule goes, bear in mind that two minute rule is an efficiency factor - the idea is that two minutes is how long it takes to put something into your system and take it out again later on. however for me personally there are some things where its a false economy to stack tasks to do later on.
As an aside its also worth noting that processing may take much longer than two minutes, its the tasks themselves that should take less than two minutes. If Iv been to a seminar or all day event then processing the stuff I bring back might take 30 minutes.
But anyway, RE the tasks, I dont have an exact analogy with your situation, but something similar is the finance tasks that I have. I get bank statements that take about 10 - 15 minutes to input into our account software, I get petty cash requests to process, I get cheques to raise which also needs inputting into the software, etc etc. All of these take more than 2 minutes, and I get one or two a day - however what I found is if i stack them I find a couple of problems.
Firstly, if I have to sit and input an hour or two's worth of data into our accounting software im MUCH more likely to make a mistake. And you cant spot the mistake until you reconcile the accounts at the end of each month when it then takes hours to track each error down. bear in mind we can be talking about a missed decimal, a mis-typed key, etc (I have so much respect for ppl that do finance all day).
Secondly inputting for an hour or two takes such concentration that if im anything less than 100% I cant be bothered, frankly. Recognising that reality is one of the more advanced things Iv learned thru GTD. That means the task has to take up some of my prized "peak efficiency time" as it were, i.e. the times when Im flying. In reality I found it stacked up and up until it became a whole afternoon's work - huh stacks disguised as Next Actions.
So for me personally its almost always preferable to just do the damn thing.
now this may not apply to you - if inputting the data is simple or enjoyable, it may be better to add them as tasks. Bear in mind too I spend lots of time at my desk, this may not be for you if youre in and out a lot and have way less time to process. Occasionally I wont have time, so I stick it as an action in my calendar for the next time im in the office, but thats fairly rare.
The other thing to consider is whether you can bring down the time it takes to do your task. Iv used client databases before, normally it wouldnt take more than 2 mins if youre copying digital data. You can easily copy and paste 20 fields in 2 minutes, and if its the same lot of fields each time, you could double that the more you do. Of course sometimes searching for existing clients takes forever, or your work computer could be cruddy, or there could be some other reason why not.
Last edited by bishblaize; 05-10-2010 at 05:32 AM.
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