Time management and the Power of Three
Updated: May 12, 2022
Simple and Powerful - The rule of three is one of the most valuable time management techniques I’ve discovered in a while. From the book Getting results the Agile Way the beauty of this approach is its simplicity and “lack of fuss”.
As a solopreneur, my attention is often pulled in a thousand directions.
Between time with new clients (my absolute best), writing articles, bringing ideas to life and keeping a family of 4 in harmony, there is a lot on my mind!
Like you, I love that smug feeling as I cross off items on my to-do list and take pride in being the queen of multitasking, BUT! It’s too easy to fall into the trap of getting lots done without really making progress. While I love being busy and knocking things out, I also want to know that I’m moving the needle on the things that really matter!
The Rule of Three has helped me to get clear and stay focused.
First, write down three things you want to accomplish today
Second, write three things you want to accomplish this week
Third, write three things you want to achieve this year
Nothing more. Just Three things.
To help stay on track and improve as we go, the book also shares some other really sound advice on how to keep in track.
1. Start every day by deciding what to focus on for the day.
This is a great practise. It sets the stage by being intentional about what’s important and prevents getting swept up in busy-ness without purpose.
2. Test yourself throughout the day – do you remember your three priorities?
These regular checkpoints have helped ensure I’m working on the right things and am making progress throughout the day.
I’ve also found they help centre me on the present and get me back on track if I’m, getting distracted (or avoiding doing something).
3. Improve your estimates – pay attention to how long you think things will take
This has been a real eye-opener. In the beginning, I was over ambitious with what I could achieve and ended up being anxious or disappointed when 5pm arrived and I was still on task one.
Now I am more realistic about what I can get done in a day, I’m breaking tasks into smaller components and have stopped over creating expectations I couldn’t fulfil.
4. Celebrate your results!
No need to say more - If you’re not celebrating the miles along the journey, it’s not worth the ride!
While many time management techniques require a lot of overhead, this one is powerful in its simplicity.
What are the three things you absolutely must get done today in order move the needle?
How are they helping you achieve your 3 monthly goals and fuelling progress towards your bigger dreams?
The rule of three is a great technique to simplify the chaos, get clear on what really matters and make meaningful progress.
Give it a try!