It's About Time
Use Rule of 3 to de-clutter or exercise
In my last column I suggested using the Rule of 3 to help get things done. The Rule of 3 makes us clarify the first (or next) three things that need to be done. Having just those three tasks in mind helps focus our energies and attention in a way that's neither overwhelming nor dreaded.
Here are some practical ways the Rule of 3 can be applied:
De-cluttering an area: When a desktop, countertop or room is cluttered to the point of distraction and discomfort, and you don't have the inclination to totally de-clutter, start by clearing out just the three largest items. That usually makes a visible difference. Encouraged, you might do another three or more.
Handling that pile of mail after a vacation: After removing and dealing with the important mail (bills, financial statements, invitations, etc.) and tossing the obvious junk mail, there is usually a pile of "better review this" medium-priority mail remaining. To avoid the temptation to put it off day after day, try dealing with just three items at a time. Sometimes you'll be able to handle more, and soon that pile will be gone!
Dressing (for women): I've read that wearing three colors makes an outfit look together and interesting. That's the Rule of 3!
Exercising: Identify three elements of a fitness routine that would be practical for you. It might be stretching, weight-bearing exercise and walking. Try to fit in at least one element each day.
» Driving home at the end of the day, think about what three things you need to do first upon returning home. It might be making a phone call, watering the plants and putting in a load of laundry. By identifying three things beforehand, you can get started doing necessary chores promptly. Otherwise, it's just too easy to putter around and waste an hour or more. With the chores out of the way, you can relax and unwind with a peaceful mind.
» The same applies to work -- as you drive to work, think of the first three things you need to do upon arrival. There will be less time wasted in transition each day.
» I apply the Rule of 3 to errands, identifying three that are on my route, e.g., post office, bank and dry cleaners.
Making three stops is easy to remember and not stressful. I prefer that to running 10 errands in one trip.
Life has so many moving parts and chores. I encourage you to apply the Rule of 3 to your everyday life to help you to get things done.
See you in three weeks!
"It's About Time," by Ruth Wong
, owner of Organization Plus, runs the fourth Friday of each month. Contact her at "It's About Time," care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org