The Two Minute / Four Hour Methods

I was recently reading some articles about time management that made a whole lot of sense. It wasn't about some fancy new system with spreadsheets or logs or any other of the myriad systems out there. While these systems, if applied correctly, can be highly effective - they also consume a lot of time to maintain.

The first tidbit I read about is the 2-minute rule. It goes something like this: 'If something takes less than 2 minutes to do, don't put it on a list, just do it.' It got me thinking about how many things pop into my head about things I need to do, but just say to myself 'I have to remember to take care of that' or write it down on some list I have. It also made me realize how many of those things get pushed down the road until they become last minute to-do items or others where the opportunity was lost forever.

So, I decided to give it a try. Anytime some that would take less than 2 minutes to do, I stopped what I was doing and just did it. I was really amazed at the result. My to-do list stopped growing so fast and there is this feeling of accomplishment that you got so much done today.

The other article was about the 4 hour method. This was a method used by many people throughout the years, such as Charles Darwin, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, Ingmar Bergman. and many others. It really is a response to the high-pressure work ethics of the modern world and really makes a lot of sense. In essence, you set aside 3-4 hours a day where you are uninterrupted to intensely concentrate on your work and then forget it the rest of the day.

It doesn't have to be a continuous period of time. It could be a 2 hour slot in the morning and another 2 hours in the afternoon or any combination. The important thing is that this time is to be without interruption; no interrupting phone calls, no interrupting text messages or emails. Just seriously concentrating on your task for that day.

The people that are using this method claim that they get as much done in four hours as most people get done in eight or ten hours. When you consider all of the technological things vying for our attention in this day and age, it is no wonder we have to work so hard at being productive. So why not give it a try and get your life back. You'll find that most of the really successful people in the world have already found this way of life.

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