Do you ever feel like just figuring out which projects you should devote your time and energy to first takes more energy than you have to spare? Even when you know what needs to be done, figuring out how to prioritize the work still takes time. And that’s where the “3-3-3 method” can help.
The technique comes from Oliver Burkeman, author of “Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals.” He recommends planning your workday around the “3-3-3 method” and here’s how it works:
- First, you spend three hours on deep work for your most important project.
- Next, you do three other urgent tasks that don’t require three hours of focus.
- Finally, you do three “maintenance” tasks, like answering emails.
So why does this method work better than other productivity hacks? Those first three hours of deep work are the key. Starting with getting those out of the way means you’re more likely to be fresh and focused, as well as less distracted. Not spending those three hours on emails, chit-chat and other menial tasks will help you get a lot accomplished, but you can’t keep going at that pace forever. That’s why stopping after three hours and having other smaller tasks ready to do afterwards can help you stay productive.