One useful principle to remember when dealing with incoming mail is to to try and handle everything only once.  Pick something up and deal with it so it needs no further action.  It is so obvious but all too often people sort incoming mail into different piles – according to category or priority.  Each one then has to be looked at again, even though the action needed might be both simple and short.

The 2 minute rule is broadly similar. If you have a short amount of time available in your day, select a task that can be accomplished within that time period. This also avoids the multi-tasking productivity penalty whereby a continual switching of focus between tasks means you get distracted, confused, tired and unproductive.

So don’t attempt to bite off a little bit of a large task; eat a whole one in your available 2 minutes (or whatever time is available).

You will feel a greater sense of accomplishment; and you will be more productive.