· Life is Short,Taking Action,Goals

The 3-3-3 Method

I thought twice about using the headline "How to Avoid Days That Feel Like Nothing Happened." For one, it's too long. I settled on the first one I chose, and I'm guessing your curiosity got the better of you, which is why you're reading this. That, or I know you, and this popped up on your feed, making you wonder, "What's Marge up to?"

3-3-3.

No, it isn't my lucky number (it's 13). But it’s a simple guide that helps the productivity geek in me sleep well at night knowing I accomplished something substantial that day.

Let's get into it. First off, I didn't come up with this. Although when I came across it, an imaginary high five occurred between me and the writer. I was already doing it and didn’t even realize this was some sort of productivity hack.

The first "3" is for 3 hours spent on your most important task. Do this first. Whether it's building a campaign, writing copy, or planning a launch—whatever’s the biggest thing on your plate that day, spend 3 uninterrupted hours on it.

There may be times when you get so engrossed that it extends to 4, but that's it. We have mental limits, whether we like to admit it or not, and 3-4 hours, preferably starting in the morning, is our best chance of squeezing out our best ideas. Turn off everything you can possibly turn off apart from the tools you need to perform the task and dive in.

The second "3" is 3 tasks that need to be done but do not require as much focus. It could be important phone calls, emails, reports, or meetings—anything that also requires completion but is not as urgent and can be completed within an hour or less.

The third "3" is 3 maintenance tasks. These are things, typically in our personal lives, that we need to do to keep the train chugging along. It could be grocery shopping, working out, or preparing or picking up dinner.

Each day is different, so don't be discouraged if you veer off and it ends up being 3-2-2 or 2-1-3. It isn't a rule but more of a guideline to help you make the most of your day and avoid wondering as you tuck yourself in bed, "What the heck happened today?"