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Read This Article in Thirty Seconds (Or Less)

Get More Done in Less Time, for Less Stress

The “Thirty Seconds Or Less” Rule

I use a rule that makes me hyper-efficient but still keeps me from being attached to my phone:

 If you can do it in less than thirty seconds, do it right away.

This is an extension of David Allen’s two-minute rule, from Getting Things Done, but when appropriate, you can do it in person as well.


A Personal Story: The Death of Business Cards

I don’t carry around business cards anymore. I haven’t for over a couple of years.


Because it is much more effective to pull out my phone and send an email or Facebook friend invite on the spot.

This guarantees our connection and saves me time—both later on (when I definitely don’t want to sit at my desk and type in a bunch of numbers from wallet-sized pieces of cardboard), and in the moment (when I have a clearly demarcated shift in energy to excuse myself and make more connections, if that is what I want to do). Plus it is arguably more environmental.

There are times when I do not—particularly if I know it will take more than thirty seconds to send the kind of email I want to send (or find the link the whatever we were just discussing). 

Tips For Maximum Effectiveness

Not much more needs to be said about this rule. But for maximum effectiveness, consider the following:

1) Follow it with texts, emails, and other messages.

    a. Do not read texts, emails, and other messages if you do not have at least thirty seconds to respond

2) Follow it when meeting people that you care to meet again, and when you want to e-introduce a friend who is sitting right in front of you.

    a. Follow usually etiquette: different situations call for different responses.

3) Do not follow it when you have less than 30 seconds

4) If it starts taking you more than thirty seconds, stop, and make a note somewhere YOU’LL ACTUALLY REMEMBER to finish / do it later.


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