Just Three Tasks a Day

Posted by on Mar 12 2009

A colleague of mine in one of my mastermind groups shared a great tip with us a few months ago: instead of writing a huge to-do list every day (and never completing all the tasks), focus on just three tasks a day.

I’ve been trying this technique now for about 2 months, and I’m happy to report it is a winner!

Truthfully, I don’t know “how” it works; I just know that it does. Each day I choose three tasks that I will complete. If I finish them, I can always do a fourth task.

For some reason, having only three tasks a day feels so much more empowering that I’m able to do them easily, without stress and overwhelm. My to-do list is dwindling and I’m moving forward in my business at a faster pace.

Try it and see if it works for you, too!


7 comments for now

7 Responses to “Just Three Tasks a Day”

  1. Joe HafnerNo Gravatar

    Karyn – I really like this idea. Submitting to the tyranny of the urgent happens in direct proportion to the length of the to-do list and the priority tasks often get relegated to the bottom of the list. This idea forces you to evaluate a long list to identify three things that really matter.

    Great tip!

    13 Mar 2009 at 6:21 pm

  2. Rabbi EdNo Gravatar


    I’ve been on overload for at least four decades. But I think you’re right about limiting the daily list to 3 + 1. However, may I suggest first listing everything in one notebook as things occur to you day by day.

    I list my all-too-long it under “Call” and “Do” and mark a capital “P” before anything persona. Now, with your insightful comment, I will add a second notebook to my repertoire and write the date and the 3 or 4 to-dos of that day. That’s a “one-two punch” I can live with!

    Thanks for sharing!!

    Rabbi Ed, author of Conquer Prostate Cancer: How Medicine, Faith, Love and Sex Can Renew Your Life (ConquerProstateCancer.com)

    30 Mar 2009 at 11:17 pm

  3. Yvonne A JonesNo Gravatar

    Thanks for sharing, Karyn. I’ve worked with ‘the 6 most important things to each day’ list, but I like the idea of just setting a goal to accomplish 3 things as that’s very doable. Once those 3 things have been completed, I believe the feeling of accomplishment serves as an inner motivation to try to strike off another one or two. Because you’re now ahead of the game the stress level is reduced.

    I’ll definitely be incorporating your suggestion as a means of reducing stress and overwhelm in my home-based business. Thank you!

    31 Mar 2009 at 3:03 am

  4. Robbie (Gonyer)PenneyNo Gravatar

    I am a procrastinator and overwhelmed all the time. I work from home and see clients all day. I cannot keep a good housekeeper. I like the 3 a day approach and will give it a go. I keep my office spotless but I cannot keep my kitchen counter cleared from all the clutter and each time I try to tackle it I become overwhelmed again and give up. I have tried something similar to the 3 a day. I start at one end of the counter and even if it is just to put something where it belongs it seems to help by taking baby steps. I never start in the middle anymore and it has helped!

    31 Mar 2009 at 11:12 am

  5. Sally DouganNo Gravatar

    Thanks, Karyn —
    I am one of those to-do-listers who will do something that isn’t actually on the list, but will then write it on so I can cross it out.

    I think that this speaks to the need for a feeling of accomplishment — and putting just a few items on the list to start with could help tame the sense of overwhelm and at the same time make accomplishment more likely. We’ll see, because I am in to it!

    01 Apr 2009 at 1:10 pm

  6. Ryan InlowNo Gravatar

    Great post. Simplicity is the key to getting a lot accomplished as accomplishment is not how many things you can do, rather what are the right things that you should be doing. This forces you to really prioritize what is truly important for your business.

    12 Mar 2010 at 9:02 pm

  7. Karyn GreenstreetNo Gravatar

    For me, learning how to really focus my thoughts and my actions based on primary goals really helped simply the process.

    12 Mar 2010 at 9:33 pm

Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business