Prioritise your day with our List of Three
THE LIST OF THREE
This has been one of the most powerful systems that I have implemented for our family. The List of Three is a simple system where you make a list of your top three tasks for the day. The list can be anything that you need to have done during that particular day. It allows you to prioritise and focus your day to ensure these tasks are ticked off. I fully commit to completing the tasks that I add to my list of three and anything else that I achieve during the day is a bonus. An example of my list of three might be - to bake muffins for school lunches, spend 30 minutes sorting photos for our yearly album and meal plan for the following week.
About 6 years ago, before I had developed strategies to organise our home and before I had decluttered our home I always felt like I was behind and forever trying to catch up on the never-ending list of jobs. I was continually overwhelmed and on many occasions didn’t start anything because I spent so much time worried about the number of tasks I needed to do and about when I could possibly get them all done. I would start a task and then become distracted by something else that needed attention. This resulted in unfinished projects on the go all over our home. Over time I have developed strategies to help me feel more on top of our jobs, keep our home tidy and hassle free (as much as possible!) and achieve my ultimate aim of spending as much time as possible with my family. The List of Three is one of those strategies.
If you complete three tasks each day by the end of the week you have completed 21 tasks, that’s 90 tasks a month and 1095 tasks over the year.
How to decide your list of three?
· Personally I don’t write my List of Three in advance. Typically I write it either the night before or in the morning. When I write my list I take into account how I am feeling, how the children are feeling and what else we have on.
· My List of Three are the three tasks that are the most important jobs for the day. These must be done before I go to bed that night.
Hints and Tips
· When I write a task on my List of Three I am committed to getting it done – they are my ‘must do’s’.
· If I write down to tidy a particular room I write a time limit. For example I would write – Tidy playroom for 15 minutes. If I haven’t tidied all of that space during the 15 minutes, I know that I can add it to another day or I look to see if I can finish it off later in the day. By setting a time limit you know that you have the time to fit it into your day. That way you can achieve that item on your List of Three and you are making progress on that particular space.
· When I am in our home and I see something that needs to be done (such as cleaning the fan, wiping out the cupboard shelves etc.) I will pop it onto my List of Three for a future date – this is the only time that I plan in advance. That way I don’t need to remember the task and I don’t need to worry about it at that particular moment as I know it will be taken care of when I have allocated it.
· I have found that it is best for me to write down my List of Three either the night before or in the morning. Otherwise, I found that unexpected tasks or appointments popped up as the week progressed and I felt disheartened when I wasn’t able to complete my List of Three. However, for some people it works to map out their List of Three’s for the week. If this is you and it works that is great. We need to find strategies that work!
Other ideas for your List of Three
· An alternative to the way you use a List of Three is to use it so make sure you are taking care of yourself. When you are unwell, have a new baby or perhaps you need some downtime use your List of Three to ensure you are taking adequate care of yourself. You might pop down on your list things like have a shower, eat a healthy breakfast, get some fresh air, take my vitamins, phone a friend, have a massage etc. Writing these things down on your List of Three can be a wonderful reminder to yourself each and every day to take care.
· Another option that I have been using in the past couple of months is writing down two tasks (similar to my traditional List of Three outline above) and then one special or fun activity that I want to do with the boys or with Tim. This has been a great reminder when life is a bit full to take time for what’s really important - my family.
Give it a go; it might just be the system that could work for your family I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes.
The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities – Stephen Covey.