Sunday, October 26, 2014

The two second rule

Yep. The fountain I wanted was one of the green ones on the top shelf.
Not quite first order access, even though it's in front.
Keep any tool you actually want to use within two seconds of being useful.
You want to be able to make use of whatever you need without losing your concentration. Your use of a tool drops off significantly if it takes you more than two seconds to access it.
Glancing at a watch is easy and immediate. If you had to walk across the room to check the time you wouldn't do it unless you really wanted to know it. 
This goes for kitchen or shop organization too. Put everything in front. That way the right tool for the job is immediately available. (Then put it back where you found it.)
When you reduce the friction between getting your tools and doing your work, you'll reduce the psychological barriers that slow you down.
This is how you get out of your own way when trying to accomplish things.
It applies at other scales too. People tend to make good use of neighbourhood playgrounds and greenspace if it's within a three minute (240m) walk from their house. Beyond that, usage drops off like crazy. The distance outweighs the benefit. It's the same principle at a different scale. To actually use it, remove the barriers.

Corollary: Get rid of things you don't want to use. If you can't get rid of them at least make them inconvenient. Save money by leaving credit cards at home. Hide the halloween candy and make sure handy snacks are healthy snacks.

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