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Bursts of Color - There's No Time Like the Present

Bursts of Color - There's No Time Like the Present
By Geoff Donaker • Issue #20 • View online
Years ago I was skiing with my friend Ben, when we found ourselves briefly stuck on top of an intimidating ledge. We stared over the lip and discussed alternative ways down. After a few minutes, Ben said, “Well, there’s no time like the morning!” and jumped gracefully off the cornice. His landing was… less graceful. It involved an explosion of snow and equipment in a full ‘yard sale.’ Fortunately he was unhurt, and we’ve been joking about that quote ever since.
And though that story sounds a bit cautionary, I actually find it inspiring. If I’m going to do something, I try to minimize procrastinating and just do it. There’s no time like the present.

Reunited on the slopes some years later
Reunited on the slopes some years later
The Two-Minute Rule
In Getting Things Done, David Allen posits the two-minute rule:
“If the next action can be done in two minutes or less… do it now if you’re ever going to do it at all. The rationale for the two-minute rule is that’s more or less the point where it starts taking longer to store and track an item than to deal with it the first time.”
I find this applies to all kinds of things, notably inbox management.
Deal With It During The Meeting
I suspect we’ve all been in meetings where discussion had to be paused and rescheduled due to some version of “let me get back to you next week.” Given modern technology, most of these things can now be done in real time, during the meeting:
  • Look up a number on the internal dashboard
  • Run a query
  • Check a client name in the CRM
  • Send a quick note of introduction or delegation
When leaders model this behavior and make it okay to pause discussion for two minutes to do something right now, we can often save days at a time and build a culture of “Don’t do tomorrow what can be done today.”
The Last 15 Minutes of the Day
You’ve just finished a task at 4:45, and need to leave at 5:00. What will you do with the next fifteen minutes? In my experience, most of us will recheck social media, shuffle papers and otherwise futz around until it’s time to leave. This is particularly ironic with today’s remote work, where no-one even knows if you’re at your desk. Feel free to join me in trying to use that 15 minutes better: completing a task from tomorrow’s list, or just getting up and onto the next thing.
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Geoff Donaker

Bursts of Color is a newsletter for start-up leaders who work with Burst Capital. It's meant to include products, people and ideas that I think are interesting and maybe relevant for you.

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