2 Minute Cleaning Tasks: How To Use David Allen's 2-Minute Productivity Rule To Get Your House Cleaning Done

David Allen on Productivity

David Allen's productivity tips have been very useful to me through university and now in my job. With his Get Things Done workflow - the one tip which stands out most for me is the 2-minute rule. It basically says that - if you can do it in 2 minutes, do it now.

This rule works well if you're trying to start a new habit or if you're just tired of seeing a mess grow around you and you just want to get started with one thing.

For instance - if you haven't kept up with your house cleaning for a few days - looking around you, the work to be done can seem daunting. If you're like me, this leads to more procrastination. The 2 miunte rule is the trick that at least gets me started on one thing.

I commit to doing a cleaning task for two minutes. If I'm not finished at the end of that time I either continue or just stop. Although, most of the time I just continue because at the end of 120 seconds it's like - I might as well finish. Or it turns out that at the end of 2 minutes the task is actually done. YES!

Either way - work has been accomplished at the end of 2 minutes.

When it comes to house cleaning, there are alot of 2 minute cleaning tasks we can do, for instance...

2 Minute Cleaning Tasks
  1. make the bed

  2. wash that dirty dish you just left in the sink

  3. clean the toilet bowl

  4. squgee the glass shower doors after a shower

  5. clean that scuff mark of the wall

  6. do some light dusting

  7. fold some laundry

  8. check dirty laundry for stains

  9. sweep the living room floor

  10. clean and disinfect door handles

  11. shine faucets

  12. load the dishwasher

  13. clear the kitchen counter

  14. empty the vacuum cleaner bag or canister

To take advantage of the 2 minute rule for house cleaning tasks you can have a checklist like the one above at the ready for those weird windows of time when you're maybe waiting for the family to get ready so you can go on that family hike or during commercial breaks while you're watching your favorite show on television - if that's still a thing.

You can also use it for starter tasks. Starter tasks get you moving. If your sink is filled with dishes challenge yourself to see how many of those dishes you can get washed, dried and put away in 2 minutes. If at the end there are still some dirty dishes left - more times than not you will want to keep the momentum going until all the dishes are clean.

To identify the 2 minute starter tasks in your home - pull out your house cleaning tasks list or just look around you. Then, for each large task, list the first action you will need to take to get started on that task. In other words, identify the 2 minute task that will get you started on those big cleaning tasks.

It could be as simple as with the dishes - let's just see how far we get in 2 minutes or breaking a task down into a single unit of work that is complete after 2 minutes. For example, if your task for today is to do the laundry, load the machine with all your colorful clothing and get the cycle started.

So - go on then - what are you waiting for?

Decide on a 2 minute task and get it done now...

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