I saw an interesting article on how never-ending task lists can lead to frustration so it is better to limit the list by the 3 + 2 rule.
The 3 + 2 Rule
At the morning you think you can do a, b, c, d, e. But then something goes wrong with b and you spend much more time on it than you anticipated. Subsequently you can’t finish c and d and you feel like you haven’t done enough. Let it be. Instead of having unrealistic expectations, just acknowledge that you can do only 3 big things and 2 small things. Do them and call it a day!
So then I’m happy that I finished my 3 + 2 tasks rather than being unhappy that I couldn’t finish 7 of them. Easy. I use index cards for it. Every morning I sit down and write 3 main things I want to solve and 2 small ones. The main items should take from 2 to 3 hours, the minor ones no more than 20 minutes. And the results?
- I accomplish more because I don’t procrastinate as far as much as I used to.
- I’m much more focused on whatever I do.
- Context switching is ridiculously easy because this way you don’t switch just very few times per day!
- The 3 + 2 rule prevents burn-outs.
- Work life vs. personal life balance.