How many times do you get to the end of the day and wonder where your day went? All you know is you were constantly in motion but don’t have much to show for it.
I hate that feeling.
I get frustrated when I make it to the end of the day and have only done laundry, made dinner and run a few errands. Those are things that I automatically get done because I have to, like brushing my teeth. But they don’t make me feel like I spent my day well.
That’s why I committed to using the top 3 method at the beginning of the year. This is the same technique that Day Designer uses in their planners.
So what is this magical top 3 method?
- I have my goals and big projects broken down into bite-sized, 15-minute tasks like I talked about in this post about shattering your goals. (If you need help breaking your goals into small bites, this printable from Paper and Landscapes is what I used to list all of my small tasks.)
- Each Sunday, I choose what small tasks I will focus on that week. I may pick 3-6 things depending on how busy that week will be and how difficult the tasks are.
- At the end of each day, I plan everything I need to do the following day. First, I write down any meetings or appointments, and then I write down the top 3 tasks I want to complete that day. (If you aren’t a planner gal like I am, you can always log your top 3 in a task app or Calendar.) I try to make sure at least one of those tasks is something from the list I made in step 2. Although I would like to devote my entire top 3 to goal-related tasks, that just isn’t realistic for me. Sometimes I have to include to-dos like meal prep or work projects in my daily top 3.
Tasks I Try Not to Include in My Top 3
Like I said, sometimes I can’t avoid it, but when life allows, I try not to include these types of to-dos in my top 3:
- Chores like laundry, cleaning or cooking dinner
- Making phone calls or responding to emails
- Paying bills or doing regular errands like going to the grocery
- Tasks not connected to a larger project or goal
Tips for Tackling Your Top 3
- Try to tackle these first thing in the morning. That way you don’t get distracted by emails, social media or daily chores.
- Start with the easiest task first to gain momentum and motivation.
- Use time blocking to note on your calendar when you will work on your 3 tasks.
- Reward yourself for completing your top 3 by doing something you love like reading for 15 minutes, having a cup of tea or coffee on the porch or taking a bath.
I would love to hear how the top 3 method works for you. Head over to the Defeating Busy Facebook page and let me know what your top 3 tasks are for the day.