instant, effortless

A popular productivity strategy suggests that when encountering a task that takes less than two minutes to complete, it’s more efficient to do it immediately rather than spending time adding it to a to-do list or scheduling it. This approach helps avoid wasting time on managing minor tasks, allowing you to focus on more significant responsibilities.

This concept can also be applied to acts of kindness and generosity. Instead of overthinking or delaying generous impulses, consider acting on them right away. For example, if you think of sending a thank-you note to someone, expressing appreciation to a colleague, or offering assistance to a neighbor, do it promptly instead of putting it off.

Acting on authentic generous impulses can be incredibly rewarding and beneficial for your mood. It’s essential to understand that this practice is not about acting out of guilt or obligation, but about recognizing and embracing genuine feelings of generosity without overthinking.

Upon reflection, you may find that what often prevents you from being generous or completing small tasks is not a lack of good intentions but setting unrealistic expectations or overthinking. For instance, you might tell yourself that a message to a friend deserves undivided attention, so you should finish other tasks first, or that it’s more efficient to donate to organizations rather than helping individuals directly. In reality, these thoughts can lead to inaction.

This principle can be extended to various aspects of life, from minor chores to self-care and acts of kindness. By considering the time it takes to complete a task as including all the time spent thinking about it or stressing about not having done it, acting immediately becomes the more comfortable and efficient option. Taking action spares you the burden of having tasks hanging over you, remembering tasks at inconvenient times, or feeling guilty about not acting as kindly as you’d like. In contrast, procrastination can be the true source of stress and inefficiency. Why not give yourself a break and just do the thing?

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