Use the Rule of 3 to Improve Time Management

A simple, effective way to complete your most immediate tasks

One of the simplest, most powerful time management techniques I’ve come across lately is the “Rule of 3” (from the book Getting Results the Agile Way).

This time management rule is simple:

  • 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.

That’s it.

The book has four recommendations for when you implement the rule:

  1. Start every day by figuring out what to focus on for the day.
  2. Test yourself throughout the day — do you remember what your three priorities are?
  3. Improve your estimates — pay attention to how long you think things will take, and improve your estimates as time goes on.
  4. Feel good about your results! Pat yourself on the back after you achieve what you set off to, for the day, week, and year.

The problem with a lot of productivity and time management systems is they require a lot of overhead, but the Rule of Three doesn’t. Every morning you think about the main three things you have to do, and then you do them. It’s a great technique to figure out what you need to focus on.

I tend to have long lists but this has made it much easier. I hope you will find time management success with this as well.

Thanks for reading. I hope the words in this article were helpful or helped spark conversation.

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