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.

The 3 + 2 Rule by developer Jakub Stastny

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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