The Rule of 3
The rule of 3 was introduced by J.D. Meier, a Microsoft executive who explains how it works in his book, Getting Results the Agile Way.
Basically, you should start every week by identifying three things to accomplish that week. Then, you should start every workday by identifying three goals you want to accomplish by the time you go to sleep.
It might sound simple, but that’s part of why it’s so effective. By looking ahead at what you want to have accomplished both day by day and week by week, you’re already figuring out how best to structure your time, attention and energy on what’s important.
So let’s say your end-of-the-week goals are to finish the first section of your book, update your website with new content and renew your passport.
With these goals in place, your end-of-the-day goals might be to finish the next chapter of the book you’re working on, decide upon the topic for your next blog post and fill out the passport renewal form.
When you’re setting these goals, check your calendar.
To prevent yourself from choosing goals that are too ambitious or unrealistic, you need to consult your calendar to make sure you haven’t already dedicated your time and energy to another task. For example, even though you want to finish that section of your book, if your calendar reminds you of a big presentation you’re scheduled to give on Friday, it may be best to focus on preparing for that instead.
Remember, being productive also means being smart about your schedule, so don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unattainable goals.