A simple time management trick: Just 3 things

Do this:

  • Write down just 3 things that you need to do. No more, no less
  • They should be small enough that each one is achievable in less than an hour
  • Pick one, do it
  • Don’t add anything else to the list until all three are done
  • If you get distracted, bring your attention back to the task

Too often, we make to do lists that are too long to finish. So we start the day feeling out of control and end the day unhappy with what we’ve done.

But by reducing the list to three, it becomes possible to finish everything and feel good before starting on the next tasks.

Try it now, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

6 thoughts on “A simple time management trick: Just 3 things”

  1. Good idea James and thank you for your helpful idea sharing and advice. I would add one comment to your 3 things to do list advice. If one or more of those things can be realistically done in one hour, great, but one or more of those things may take more than one hour, so don’t stress if it does need more time. Just aim to finish it within at a reasonable set time. However, if you are talking about breaking down every task into smaller parts (eating the elephant in smaller manageable bites analogy – never tasted or want to taste elephants by the way, unless life depends on it 🙂 ) then that’s something a bit different and works too, again unless something naturally takes longer…keep up the great work and I must buy your book soon.

    • I’d say break those larger tasks down into smaller chunks. Sometimes they might still take longer than expected, in which case you have to stick with it until you figure it out.

      The hour limit is arbitrary. The idea is to have a single point of focus at any given time, but to also have the next tasks decided, too. Just think 2 or 3 moves ahead!

  2. Interesting idea.

    “they are achievable in less than an hour”
    Do you mean that all three combined should be achievable in less than an hour, or that each thing should be achievable in an hour?

    • Each one, though you might do all 3 in less than an hour.

      Thanks for pointing out the ambiguity. I’ve rephrased it in the post!

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