The 1-Minute Manager

Eliza Sapir Koren
3 min readMay 25, 2024

Supercharging Productivity with Quick Wins

Ever find yourself bogged down by a mountain of tasks, only to be sidetracked by quick fixes and minor approvals? As a manager, I often face this scenario. While our Jira system handles the heavy lifting of project management, there’s a secret weapon I rely on to keep things running smoothly: the 1-minute task.

In the words of Ken Blanchard from The One Minute Manager, “People who feel good about themselves produce good results.” By handling small tasks immediately, you create a positive feedback loop, boosting your efficiency and your team’s morale.

The Power of 1-Minute Tasks

Imagine you’re navigating through your daily to-do list. It’s loaded with critical tasks logged in Jira, each demanding significant time and attention. Suddenly, a team member pings you for a quick approval, or you notice a tiny glitch in the system that needs fixing. These are the moments where the 1-minute rule comes into play.

Here’s the magic mantra: If a task takes less than 1 minute to complete, do it immediately.

Why? Because the time you spend creating a Jira ticket for these micro-tasks can often exceed the time it takes to actually complete them. By swiftly handling these small tasks, you keep the workflow smooth and uninterrupted.

Examples of 1-Minute Tasks

Quick Approvals: A team member needs your approval on a minor change. Instead of logging this in Jira, give the green light and move on.

Brief Responses: Replying to an email or a message that requires a short, straightforward response.

Tiny Fixes: Spotting a typo on the team dashboard or tweaking a minor setting in a shared document.

Instant Updates: Informing someone about a quick status update or a small piece of information they need.

Organizational Tweaks: Adjusting the schedule of a meeting or quickly arranging a desk setup.

The Benefits

  1. Maintains Momentum

Handling 1-minute tasks immediately helps maintain your workflow’s momentum. There’s no pile-up of trivial tasks, and you can focus on the larger, more complex tasks that truly require your attention.

2. Reduces Mental Clutter

Imagine having to remember every tiny task until you find the time to log them into Jira. That’s a recipe for mental clutter. By addressing these tasks on the spot, you clear your mind, making space for strategic thinking.

3. Boosts Team Efficiency

When team members see that small requests are handled promptly, it creates a ripple effect of efficiency. They can continue their work without delays, and the overall productivity of the team increases.

Balancing with the Priority List

Of course, it’s crucial to balance this with your prioritized tasks on Jira. Here’s how I do it:

Stay Disciplined: Use the 1-minute rule strictly for tasks that genuinely take less than 1 minute. Anything longer should go into Jira.

Prioritize Wisely: Always return to your Jira priority list after handling quick tasks. This ensures that your main projects stay on track.

Communicate Clearly: Make sure your team understands the value of both the 1-minute rule and the priority system in Jira. Encourage them to adopt similar practices.

In Conclusion

The 1-minute rule is a simple yet powerful tool in a manager’s productivity arsenal. By addressing minor tasks immediately, you free up mental space and maintain a smooth workflow, allowing you to focus on what truly matters. Remember, while Jira is indispensable for managing substantial projects, not every task needs to find its way there. Embrace the 1-minute rule, and watch your efficiency soar!

Keep this mantra close: “No Jira ticket, no work — unless it takes less than 1 minute!” It’s a small change with a big impact, making every second count in the dynamic world of management.

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