The Productivity Rule of Three

Being consistently productive is hard work and it takes a lot of discipline to maintain.  There are tasks and projects coming at you from colleagues.  We all run the risk of information overload thanks to websites, RSS feeds and – most recently – social media.  Even if you have a system in place there are times when it is going to seem impossible to keep up with everything.

So don’t.

If you can get three big things done per day (Leo Babauta refers to them as MITs or Big Rocks), then you’re winning.  You’ll most certainly handle little things here and there that you come across throughout your day – routine stuff – but if you decide that you must get three big things done every day, you’re being really productive.  Be sure to prioritize them accordingly, otherwise you’re going to be doing some tasks that may not move you forward as much as others might.  The mind works well with the number three.  Two seems easy and four seems a bit daunting, but three is like Baby Bear’s porridge…just right.

This isn’t anything new, of course. Productivity experts have been preaching this in some form or another for years.  We just tend to forget about it every once in a while.

So if you find that you’re getting caught up and your wheels start spinning, just roll up your sleeves and do three big things.  You’ll end up doing bigger things down the road if you do.

Mike Vardy an editor on Work Awesome. We could tell you where his personal productivity parody site, Eventualism and all of his other projects reside on the web, but you'd be best served going to and following the trail of virtual bread crumbs from there.


  1. Anelly on the 1st June

    I think doing three big things per day is quite a great deal. I am also glad if I could performe one :). What can I say … these days are difficult times. here is an article related about how self-motivation can help us get things done:

  2. Vishwas on the 1st June

    Well, after reading this blog I am left with a question in my mind. “Why do we need three also?” I agree with you that two seems easy and four seems daunting. Recently I was reading a book called “REWORK”. In this I came across this interesting concept.

    They say – Forget prioritizing items in life. Just have 1 priority in life. Call it IMPORTANT. When you are done with that keep moving the next one up there. This will help you focus on delivering a better product productively.

    To certain extent I agree with them. I am experimenting on this in my work place to see it if works. So far so good! I also have to admit the fact that the thing which works me might not work for all. So experiment till you get your process right 🙂

    Just my 2 cents

  3. Manisha Singh on the 8th February

    it is right that Being consistently productive is hard work and it takes a lot of discipline to maintain . routine is first way to do your work properly,so it is very important.

    Thanks you lot.

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