I’ve talked about Gene Schwartz’s 33-minute egg timer. I’ve talked about the power of 10s (doing your work in 10-minute blocks). And Michael Masterson shared his system for squeezing more productivity out of a day with you last week. Now there’s another method. And this one is especially for lazy people.
Ready? According to the folks over at the “liferemix.net” blog, “Just do three things.”
That is, forget the long to-do list. Aim, every day, to accomplish only three things. No more and no less. The real trick: You have to make sure you choose three things that count.
If it’s urgent, that’s enough to make it count. But don’t move it to the top of your list if, in a week, it won’t matter if you’ve done it or not. Instead, choose only high-impact tasks that will make a big difference over time. The kind that grow and pay dividends, that open doors and build skills and earn you the recognition you crave. Mastering a new skill, making a big investment, diving into that big project you’ve put off forever.
Also important: Don’t wait until morning to make your list of three. Make your list before you go to bed, so you’re not distracted by the little details of the following morning. And so you can jump in and get started right away.
Do NOT get a few little things out of the way first. Forget e-mail. Forget returning phone calls. Get started on your “big three” list immediately. You can do the urgent but unimportant stuff like phone calls and e-mails in batches and bursts at the end of the day.
If you’re really into celebrating your laziness while still remaining productive, says liferemix.net, you can take a 10-minute break between tasks. You can even celebrate reaching the end of your “big three” list with a nap if you so desire.
Or, maybe better, you could put some icing on the day by knocking off some of those smaller things that you’re now free to tackle.
The best part of all this? You’ll actually end up being MORE productive by doing just three big things than most busybodies are who have chalked up seven or 10 or a dozen small, urgent, but ultimately unimportant tasks.
And you’ll feel a heck of a lot better and less stressed about it too. Good advice, I think.[Ed Note: John Forde, a published writer and a direct-mail copywriter since 1992, is a featured expert in The Magic Button, ETR’s step-by-step guide to starting a profitable Internet business. Applying John’s proven techniques for writing promotional copy will make every customer contact an opportunity for a sale, whether it’s your company’s homepage, sales letters, emails, ads, and even editorial content.
Sign up for John’s free weekly e-zine, The Copywriter’s Roundtable.]