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Thinking in threes to get more done

Brilliant Book Series Returns With Focus on ‘The Productivity Project’

Being able to match urgency with importance is half the battle in designing a productive day and week. It’s far too easy to forget about what’s important to work on when more urgent, but far less important tasks come your way.apple-iphone-smartphone-desk

That is the problem presented by Chris Bailey in Chapter 3 of his book “The Productivity Project.” Last week’s Snippet was so popular that we decided to make Bailey and his book the focus of our Brilliant Books Series for the next few weeks. It really is a remarkable masterwork on the subject of personal productivity.

So what is Bailey’s recommendation for reconciling urgency and importance? When it comes to spending our most valuable personal commodities of Time, Energy, and Attention, Bailey says the “Rule of 3” is the most powerful discipline he’s found for getting more done.

The rule is simple:

  1. At the beginning of every day (better yet, the night before) mentally fast-forward to the end of the day and ask yourself: When the day is over, what three things will I want to have accomplished? Write those three things down.
  2. Do the same at the beginning of every week.
  3. Make those things the focus of your day and the week ahead. That’s it.

The magical quality of three works to help simplify, quantify and actually remember your list without expending too much brain power. (So you can spend your brain power on the three important tasks.)

To be sure, emergencies will come up, fires will flare, and seemingly more urgent tasks will be presented.

Brilliant Book Bit:  Defining three things to accomplish will provide a beacon when you get thrown off balance. The Rule of 3 can keep you on track and feeling more satisfied when you get to the end of the day.

Another great feature of Bailey’s book is that he presents a challenge at the end of each chapter that includes some inspirational guidance and the estimated time to complete it, along with a rating on a 10-point scale of energy/focus required; value; and fun.

Bailey’s challenge for this chapter:  Try the Rule of 3 tomorrow morning.

Have a great week.

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