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Inspired by the comments and suggestions of some people, who comprise the most effective people that I know off, I’ve recently adopted a little efficiency gimmick that has made for an interesting change.

The rule simply stated is: Anything that requires less then five minutes of your time to do should be done instantly. This means that a lot of small stuff is done straight away. And you’ll be suprised how many tasks can be done in just five humble minutes.

It actually increases substantially your efficiency, especially in relation to other people. An email can often be returned in a few mintues, as can a phone call, an sms or other small gestures. Things that are in the way are put away, small things are done that would otherwise get left to procrastination and delayed indefinately by the desire to keep working, in whatever manner and however unproductive, on the big project that is supposedly the focus of the hour. A smaller yet significant side effect is that you get a productivity boost by actually doing things that are pending. You don’t let yourself off by letting the small stuff slide.

Now i’m not saying that there are not certain times that you need to lock down and do away with all distractions as you go towards doing what is necessary, but that at the same time this is not the same as thinking you are being productive when you’re not and disguising procrastination as proactivity. A hundred small things when added together can often be the equivelent of many big things, and these hundred small things is what acts as the finishing touches to any productive effort.


One Comment

    • Dom
    • Posted November 8, 2006 at 11:01 pm
    • Permalink

    In my words it would be “stop procrastinating, lazy bum!”. You just made that more specific, and probably more likely that I will actually abide by the rule.

    **I hope “lazy bum” is not too offensive for your readers. After all I’m referring to myself.

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