In my pre-GTD days, I worked as a bookkeeper at a large retail store for several years.
Other staff would place any paperwork for me to process in my own inbox - invoices, delivery notes, till receipts etc.
I'd regularly go through it and either do it, file it, stack items up for batch processing or throw it out.
Looking back, if I applied the 2 minute rule literally to that situation it would have made me less productive and many tasks would have taken a lot longer.
If I'd processed every invoice in the pile there and then, because I could do each one individually within 2 minutes, it would have taken just under 2 minutes per to get each invoice into Sage (accounts software) and filled.
Instead, I'd stack all the invoices up in their own temporary "Invoices to Process" tray, only taking seconds to do.
Then when all invoices were out the inbox, I go through them all in batches and enter them into the Sage accounts software as a large batch.
This way, it took about 30 seconds for each one to be processed in Sage and filled.
Similarily, there were other times whereby rather than processing a single item there and then, it would be put in it's own "bucket" and processed as a batch.
The idea of batching was to avoid the stop start kind of processing. Better to process 100 invoices in one go than to keep stopping and starting, switching between software.
Even now, just processing my own receipts, I don't do one at a time, i'll go through the inbox, put any receipts to one side, then enter as a batch.
How does the 2 minute rule apply when items may be better batched together?
I suppose it depends upon your interpretation of "if it can be done in less than 2 minutes..."
Does preparing it for batch processing count as "doing it" or should that mean to finishing it completely (in Sage and filled)?
Thanks for your time - much appreciated.