How I Stay Efficient – My Three Hour Rule Ross | February 16th, 2010

Some people are more efficient than others. There are many reasons for this: ability to focus, complexity of the work, distractions, etc. But while some  have unique skills and intellect to get things done quickly, most people must develop systems to help them improve their efficiency and balance many diverse tasks.

Some rely on to-do lists to stay efficient and focused. I’ve tried working with to-do lists and have failed miserably.

Years ago, while managing dozens of complex cases as a trial attorney, I started focusing on three major priorities every day, breaking the day down into 3 hour blocks of time. That system has worked  well for me and has helped me to manage a massive amount of work as an entrepreneur. That doesn’t mean that I ignore small tasks – I accomplish many smaller tasks during the day. But it does mean that I make the accomplishment of three major tasks a key part of my daily routine.

What I do works  well for me but might not work for you. There’s no perfect system for everybody – but everybody could benefit from a regular practice. Here’s what I do regularly:

What do you do to stay efficient?

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  • Mel

    I use my iPhone calendar as my to-do list: if I think of something I need to do, I type it into a free timeslot.

  • Mel

    I use my iPhone calendar as my to-do list: if I think of something I need to do, I type it into a free timeslot.

  • Eamonn

    Ross you have a great work ethic and focus. You set the bar high for other entrepreneurs..

    I typically force myself to stop and take a break at least every two hours (not a one minute break – at least 10 minutes and always away from the computer). The advantage of this is that on returning to work, I realise if I have lost focus or if I am taking the wrong approach. Also at least once a day I make sure I go for a walk or run to a park. Fresh air (along with ethiopian coffee and tiesto music) powers the brain.

  • Eamonn

    Ross you have a great work ethic and focus. You set the bar high for other entrepreneurs..

    I typically force myself to stop and take a break at least every two hours (not a one minute break – at least 10 minutes and always away from the computer). The advantage of this is that on returning to work, I realise if I have lost focus or if I am taking the wrong approach. Also at least once a day I make sure I go for a walk or run to a park. Fresh air (along with ethiopian coffee and tiesto music) powers the brain.

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