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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). With A Year of Productivity, I have a lot of stuff to tackle. Media interview requests that are coming in (!!), interviews to book, articles to write, and books to read. With so much stuff, it’s hard to figure out what to focus on. Needless to say, the Rule of Three has helped me immensely.
The 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.
The book has four recommendations for when you implement the rule:
- Start every day by figuring out what to focus on for the day.
- Test yourself throughout the day – do you remember what your three priorities are?
- Improve your estimates – pay attention to how long you think things will take, and improve your estimates as time goes on.
- 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’ll be diving deeper into the Agile Results methodology, and will write more as I discover and experiment with it.