Laziness can work for you, when you know how to use it, according to Leo Babauta. When he does fewer things each day, those things have a bigger impact. He’s offered these 10 suggestions for doing just three things a day–and making them count.
- Choose only three things to do for the day: The limit will force you to choose just the important things. Choose just three, but choose carefully.
- Choose for impact, not urgency. Don’t let the urgent things push aside the important stuff. In a week, the urgent stuff won’t matter. Tasks that really make a difference to your life and your work, high-impact tasks, will result in success and create new opportunities.
- Choose the tasks the night before. If you prep for the day ahead of time, you’ll be less tempted by the “urgent” stuff. And you’ll have a jump-start on the day.
- Start immediately on the first task. Don’t do little things. Just start.
- Don’t check email until the first task is completed. Let email (or whatever your usual distraction is) be a reward for finishing the first important task. Let your urge to procrastinate motivate you to get that first thing done.
- Make procrastination work for you. Put a big task you’ve been dreading at the top of your list, so that you actually have four tasks. You’ll avoid working on that big task by concentrating on the three below it. At least you’ll get those done. The fourth? When another, even more important chore comes along, put that at the top of the list.
- Take breaks in between. Give yourself a short break–10 to 30 minutes–after finishing a task. You’re not working in a sweatshop. After all, you’re only doing three things today. Take a walk. Get a glass of water. Shoot the breeze with a friend. Check whatever you like to check online. Then get to work on your next task.
- When you’re done, celebrate with a nap. After you finish three important tasks, take a nap. You’ve earned it. You’ve done three important things today, which is more than most people. They may have done 7 smaller things, but you’ve been more productive by doing less.
- Batch process smaller tasks. Put those smaller work tasks off until the end of your day, then do them all at once. All your phone calls, then all your emails, then all your little paperwork or whatever. Don’t allow these smaller, routine tasks push to the front of the line.
- What if you have more than three? Just choose three and put the rest off until tomorrow–you probably won’t finish them anyway even if you put them on today’s list. The world won’t end, life will go on and you will be less stressed.
Less stress and less hurry are, to me, the core of a simplified life….Susan