Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Assessing the Big 3

About a month ago, I started using a strategy I'm calling the Big 3. Each day, I decide what three things are my top priorities for the day, and then I write them down.

And you know what? This one's a keeper.

If you're like me, you've tried any number of strategies when it comes to organization and time management, only to abandon some of them even before the ink was dry on the note you wrote to yourself. Some are too complicated, others too time-consuming. And then, of course, there's the biggest flaw of all.

The plan doesn't fit your styles.

I started the Big 3 because I have a tendency to never be satisfied with what I accomplish. I focus too much on what I've left undone, and not enough on what I've accomplished. Or, I swing from one extreme to the other, overdoing it one day and crashing the next. I needed a strategy that would even things out, helping me to establish a steady flow of successes. Successes are, after all, the foundation of STYLE.

I'm happy to report that, one month in, the Big 3 is working quite well. Some days, I've been tempted   to expand it to the Big 5, because, after all, if 3 is good, isn't 5 better?

Um, no. No, it's not.

The purpose of the Big 3 was to increase the likelihood that I'd not only accomplish what I set out to do, but also that I'd have time to do other things -- maybe even fun things -- as well. And the purpose of evaluating this strategy here and now is to expand on another principle of tailoring your solutions to fit your needs.

When something is working, don't stretch it to the breaking point. Adapt, if you must, but don't ruin a perfectly good strategy by pushing it beyond its limits -- or pushing yourself beyond your limits.

Like so many strategies, the Big 3 arose over time, in response to a problem I identified. In addition, I set it up so it would fit me and my needs.

Could the Big 3 work for you? Maybe.

But maybe it won't. Maybe it won't fit your styles, and you'll need to make adjustments. Maybe you're more of a backwards to-do list person, or maybe you survive on one big, long list that includes everything you need to accomplish for the foreseeable future.

Whatever you do, let your styles be your guide.

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