Thanks to David Allen, time management guru and the bestselling author of Getting Things Done, I have instituted the 2-minute rule across most areas of my life. These days most of us have to-do lists that stretch out into forever. If something new pops up in my life and I can complete it in 2 minutes or less, I do it immediately. Everything else, I batch.
For the most part, I try to focus on finances 3 days per month: the 5th, the 20th and the last day of the month. If I receive paper bills that I have to log into my computer to pay, or (rare these days) have to write a check for, I put them into my financial inbox and pay them on the designated day. The only exception to this is if I receive an invoice that I can quickly click over to PayPal and pay immediately. Then I don’t have to enter it into my to-do system and process it into the right box. I do it once and never have to think about that task again. Hallelujah!
Of course, there is some danger of succumbing to shiny object syndrome by reacting to all of the tiny tasks as they come up. However, I still think that benefit of touching that task once, completing it on sight, and never touching it again is a big enough win that I don’t mind jumping around a little to get them done at certain times during the day. Like during a scheduled email check.
So what does this mean for you, the entrepreneur or small business owner? This means that if you can send me the right kind of invoice, you can get paid faster, easier, and spend less time chasing up payments. Sure not everyone sticks to this 2 minute rule, but if I have to go to my purse to pull out my credit card to pay you, or heaven forbid actually get out a checkbook to enter in the checking account information, you are not getting paid immediately. Remove those little barriers for your clients. Make paying you as easy as Amazon 1 click shopping, or as close as it can possibly get.
Speaking of which, thanks to Amazon 1 click shopping, grabbing something I need off of the Internet can now be a less than 2-minute task. What would have taken me 5-10 minutes sometimes on other sites, like buying ink for my printer when I have to look up the cartridge number and then I forgot the login for that website so I have to hit the forgotten password button, wait for an email in my inbox, and then set a new password and then FINALLY log in and buy my ink, now only takes me a moment on Amazon. As much as possible, Amazon-ize your payment process to save yourself time and get faster payments!
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