If you want to be more productive, then you should adopt The Rule of 3. This is what productivity expert Chris Bailey recommends in his book “The Productivity Project.”
The Rule of 3 says that at the beginning of each day, you should mentally fast-forward to the end of the day, and ask yourself: When the day is over, what 3 things will I want to have accomplished?
I like Bailey’s idea of “3” because, let’s face it, taking on too much in a given day will simply set yourself up for failure! I used to make the mistake of insisting on accomplishing A, B, C, D…maybe even E, in a previous job as an associate editor at a large publishing company. Naturally, like most of us, I focused too much on what I DIDN’T get done in the workday, when this plan wasn’t realistic to begin with! Let’s face facts: Things WILL come up in a given day, and when they do, and you have to shift gears, it will be very difficult, and even impossible, to get back to task “C”, let alone “D” or “E”!
Bailey suggests… The Rule of 3 says that at the beginning of each day, you should mentally fast-forward to the end of the day, and ask yourself: When the day is over, what 3 things will I want to have accomplished?
Whatever those 3 things are, write them down. Just make sure you don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unattainable goals. [Italics mine.]
1) It’s Tuesday, so priority one is completing the report that is due Thursday. Getting that off my desk will help a lot with stress!
2) At least start on the next task that I’m supposed to have done by Friday if possible, otherwise Monday. At least starting on it will mean less to do on it tomorrow.
3) Recognize that unexpected things might arise, but do NOT add to distractions by overdoing checking email and voice messages! Unless I am expecting a VERY important call or email, check them on the hour, and on the hour ONLY.
Can you see how being able to check off 3 main tasks in a workday will give you a feeling of accomplishment – as opposed to feeling like a failure because the 5, unrealistic tasks you wanted to do, that didn’t get done?
As fellow blogger Vincent Carlos concludes, “The Rule of 3 may seem simple, but I promise you, no app, tool or resource will make you more productive in your life than using this rule.”
Also from Vincent… I read a lot and people often ask me how do I remember everything I read? So I wrote an article where I give 4 strategies I use to retain everything I read. However, this article is for site members only. So if you’re a member, you can read it by clicking here!