Benefits of Using the 3/3/3 Technique to Plan a Day
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the things you have to do in a day? Do you struggle to decide what to work on first, or how to fit everything in? If you're like me, you probably have a lot of tasks and projects that need your attention, but you don't have a clear way of organizing them. That's why I want to share with you a simple method that I use to plan my day. It's called the 3/3/3 technique, and it helps me focus on what matters most, while also making sure I don't neglect the other aspects of my life.
The 3/3/3 technique was created by Oliver Burkeman and is based on the idea that every normal working day, you should aim to:
Why three hours of focused work? Because research shows that's about the maximum amount of time most people can concentrate on one thing without getting distracted or exhausted. And what are 'maintenance activities'? Well, they can be anything that helps you stay on top of your life, such as writing in a journal, checking your email, or going for a walk outside.
The beauty of this method is that it's not too rigid or too loose. It doesn't try to plan every minute of your day, or every task you need to do. It just picks a few things that are important, and makes sure you get them done. And it doesn't assume that you have all the time in the world, or that everything will go according to plan. It leaves some room for flexibility and surprises.
1. It helps you prioritise your tasks. By choosing one project to focus on for three hours, you're making a clear decision about what matters most to you right now. You're not trying to do everything at once, or getting distracted by less important things. You're giving your full attention and energy to something that will make a difference.
2. It helps you balance your workload. By completing three shorter tasks, you're taking care of some of the urgent or annoying things that need to get done. You're not letting them pile up or stress you out. You're also giving yourself some variety and satisfaction by switching between different types of tasks.
3. It gives you some freedom, not too much or too little. I used to think that the best way to plan my day was to schedule every hour with a specific task or activity. I thought this would help me stay focused and productive. But I realized that this didn’t work for me. Sometimes things would change, and I would have to change my plan too. This made me feel stressed and frustrated. Other times things would go as planned, but I would feel bored and trapped by my plan. I didn’t like having to follow it all the time. The 3/3/3 method is different. It doesn’t tell me exactly what to do every hour, but it also doesn’t leave me clueless about what to do next. It gives me some direction and structure for my day (for example, I know I have to do those three hours of important work before anything else, or I won’t get them done) without making me feel stuck or limited.
The best thing about this method, for me, is that it teaches me to be patient with myself and my work. It helps me realize that I don’t have to do everything at once, or try to achieve too much in one day. It helps me accept that doing less each day, but more in the long run, is a smarter and happier way to work. It reminds me of what Adam Smith said: “The man who works so moderately as to be able to work constantly, not only preserves his health the longest, but in the course of the year, executes the greatest quantity of work.” So yes, I have a lot of things I want to do, and sometimes I feel like I’m not doing enough. But you know what? This method is still the best way to do as much as I can.
So why don’t you give it a try? The next time you have a normal working day, think about what project you want to work on for three hours, what three shorter tasks you want to complete, and what three maintenance activities you want to do. Write them down somewhere, and then follow your plan as best as you can. See how it feels, and what results you get.
I hope this method helps you as much as it has helped me. I find it very useful to have a simple way of planning my day, without getting overwhelmed or bored. It helps me focus on what matters most, while also taking care of the other aspects of my life.
Let me know what you think of this method in the comments below.
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