Author at The Productivity Project
Chris is the author of The Productivity Project and writer at A Life Of Productivity.
Over the last decade, he has researched and experimented with every productivity technique to discover what works and what doesn’t. Every month his work is read by about 200,000 people from almost every country around the world.
Tactic that has had the biggest impact on Chris’ success
The Rule Of 3 Methodology And It’s Power
Result if you follow the steps in Chris’ session
Separate the good productivity advice from the bad and learn the methodology for setting your intentions daily, weekly, and yearly
Full session with video, notes, audio and discussion inside EHQ Club. Learn more
Expert session snapshot
The rule of three is up there, you know, it’s one of my faves. And it goes like this, you know, I use it every day.
So it might be helpful to start at that level. So at the start of the day, you fast forward to the end of the day in your head and you asked for yourself, by the time the day is done, what three main things well, I want to have accomplished.
And this process, it sounds so simple and almost kind of stupidly simple but the process allows you to separate what’s important from what isn’t because you can only choose three things to do. And because of that fact, this forces you to prioritize what’s important from what isn’t.
But, you know, unlike a lot of the other systems where you got to organize everything on your plate for an hour to every day, it only takes a minute then so maybe three or four minutes at the start of every day.
It’s lightweight, it’s really agile. And that’s actually where I got the tactic from in the first place. There’s this book by JD Myers called Getting Results, The Agile Way. It’s a fascinating way. He’s a director at Microsoft, and he writes about how he uses his team every single day because he doesn’t work, won’t hear a laundry list of things that his team is working on.
But he’s willing to hear out the three main things that they’re working on that day or that week. And so that’s what the rule is, you know, at the start of the day, you separate what’s important from what isn’t, and choose what three things you want to accomplish.
You decide what you don’t do at the same time. And at the same time, you can consider your constraints that are built into the day. And so some days, you know, like, like today for me. My day is full of meetings today. So I’m talking to people all day long. And so those inform the intentions that I set, because there’s more constraints in my day, and I have less freedom.
With regard to how I spend my time and other days are like tomorrow, I can’t wait. I can’t wait. It’s like this luxurious day. I think I have one call in the morning. Then I get to write or brainstorm a few talks coming up.
And so you can keep in mind your constraints. As new things come along on the fly, which always happens, right, because we set out these grand intentions, but then once the day starts, everything hits the fan, and then we have to prioritize on the fly. And we won’t remember a laundry list of priorities every day. But we’ll remember three things.
And that’s what makes the rule so powerful is, we can compare the new tasks, the new projects that come along, especially when we have more to do than we have time to do with them. We can compare the new stuff that comes along to what’s already, what we’ve already intended to do.