Rule of 3’s: Stop Feeling Overwhelmed, Get the Right Stuff Done, and Banish Shiny Object Syndrome

written by Peter O. | Productivity

How often do you feel like your whole day just went by and you didn't get anything done?

Or you checked off 20 tasks, but still feel like a failure that day?

How often has a year gone by and you're no closer to your goals?

We are constantly bombarded with new tasks, new information, urgent projects, and people to talk too. We can work all day long and get to the end with out a real understanding of what we have to show for it.

But there is a simple fix.

Start using the rule of 3's

Over and over I see the rule of 3's. Michael Hyatt uses "The Big 3" in his full focus planner. JD Meier uses it over and over again in Agile Results. Scaling Up says 3-5 priorities/initiatives (three is best, five is probably too many), Oliver Burkeman who wrote Four Thousand Weeks.... I can keep going.

Here's the basic logic, pick 3 things and only 3 things. Your most important things. If you can get your most important things done, you can feel good about your day even if you have a crap load of other tasks.

Just worry about doing those 3, anything else is gravy.

Here are some examples of the rule of 3's in action:

  • Agile Results: Pick 3 yearly goals, then 3 quarterly, then 3 monthly, then 3 weekly, then 3 daily. Most of your shorter term goals (daily) should roll up into your longer term goals (yearly).

  • Oliver Burkeman from Ben Meer: Spend 3 hours on your most important project, do 3 smaller tasks, do 3 maintenance items.

  • Full Focus Planner: Pick the 3 BIG things you need to get done today.

Almost no one picks ONLY 3 things they want/need to get done today. Stop being "almost no one."

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About the Author
Peter Olson writes about what he's learned growing a business to high seven figures. He's the CEO of an Inc 5000 company that works with entrepenours to help them growth their businesses.

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