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Wouldn’t it be cool if you could get everything done on your list every day?

Getting things done

Guess what? You can.

Buckle up your seatbelt.
You are about to experience the “Power of 3.” 

Experience the power of 3.

First of all, remember —
You can’t manage time. 
Nothing you can do about time.
But, you can manage yourself.
And yes, I know you’ve heard that before. But if you’ll stay with me for just two more minutes, you’ll be glad you did.
What I want to show you today is one of the simplest, most powerful ways to manage yourself and get everything on your list done every day.
The name of this process is the “Rule of 3,” from Getting Results the Agile Way, by J.D. Meier.

How does the Rule of 3 help you get everything done on your list?

The Rule of 3 is a self-management process that focuses on achieving three meaningful outcomes every day, every week, every month, and every year.
One of the things I love about the Rule of 3 is that it is simple and easy to use — so I use it:-)
Here’s how it works:
•    Identify three priority outcomes you want for today.
•    Identify three priority outcomes you want for the week.
•    Identify three priority outcomes you want for the month.
•    Identify three priority outcomes you want for the year.
That’s it.
You may be thinking: “No way. It can’t be that simple.”
Yes, it’s that simple.

And now, the science behind the simplicity:

But notice that for each of these categories (day, week, etc.) — that you are looking at three priority outcomes.
We’re not saying that you only get three things done each day.
We’re just saying is that these three things take priority over everything else.
So you can do many things in a given day, but you have to get these three things done by the end of the day.
Because when you do, you’ll be on track to reaching your goals.
And when you are on track to reaching your goals, you can sleep at night and enjoy your free time.
So learning to prioritize is key.

Here is my testimonial.

That said, here’s my testimonial. Before I started using this process, I was running around from task to task without a clear vision for my desired outcomes.
Sound familiar?
My goal planning was a mess. I spent my time putting out fires instead of reaching my goals and feeling at peace with the world.
Now, I move easily through my day with purpose and focus.
This is the power of three.

Let’s take a closer look at how it works.

So let’s take a closer look at this powerful tool:
There are five steps to the process:
1. Float: If you start each day with a massive to-do list, you won’t be very productive.
You will be overwhelmed.
And while you may be very busy, you are likely to get to the end of the day and still not have gotten done the most important things. But if you’ll let the three most important results you need to achieve today float to the top and commit to doing those above all else, you will have a productive and satisfying day, even if much on your list is still undone.
2. Focus: “Call Bob” on a to-do list doesn’t actually tell me much. But, “Get signoff from Bob to proceed on project” focuses me on the desired outcome, even while it leaves open how to do it.
Does it matter if Bob gives me the OK via email or text? Maybe not.
But notice what has happened here. I am focused on the desired outcome. With this additional focus on specific information, I can prioritize my list much better.
3. Stretch: Think ambitious, but achievable goals. It’s probably not feasible to write a book this month — but how great would you feel if you finished a novel by the end of the year?
That would be ambitious and a worthy stretch. You get the idea.
This system is not meant to let you slack. Rather, it is meant to give you ambitious goals you can celebrate when you achieve them.

And — it’s adjustable.

4. Adjust: Over the course of a day/week/month/year, new priorities will probably arise.
The Rule of 3 isn’t meant to be rigid. After all, it’s an agile process.
If the new thing floating to the top is more important than one of the three outcomes you’ve already identified, feel free to replace it. But be sure that the new thing actually is more important.
Otherwise, you run the risk of getting yourself into the trap of reacting to the (seemingly) urgent without regard to accomplishing the most important things.
5. Reflect: Take time for reflection. What worked well? What didn’t?
Feel good about what you accomplished. Men who feel good at the end of the day — who actually take time to appreciate what they have done, celebrating their small wins — are more motivated the next day to take on a new challenge.

Let’s do the math.

So — let’s do the math.
If you do your three most important things each day, you will do 15 essential things in a 5 day work week.
Which means that in an average month, you will do 60 essential things.
Think of the power of that!
60 essential things in one month.
If the things you are doing are truly essential — this is powerful progress indeed.

The key is learning to set priorities.

Obviously, the success of the this process is the concept of priorities.
If you do 60 non-essential things each month, that’s good — but it’s not rocking your socks off.
But 60 essential things — wow!

To be continued…

 So next week, in part 2 of this series on the how to get things done, we’ll look at how to set priorities.
In the meantime, begin thinking about what three things are most important to you today. In the midst of your busy day, if you could only for sure get the three most important things done, what would they be?

 That’s all for now.
Until next week — be well, do good work, and keep in touch:-)
As always, if you’d like to go deeper, send my your comments or questions to
I’ll be sure to respond.