Do More, by Planning for Less: The 1-3-5 Method
Ya know when you look back at certain times in your life and think, “How in the world did I DO all that?!”
For me, that was just a few years back when I was working full-time in the medical field, going to school for a management degree, running a lifestyle blog and raising my two little boys at home. Sometimes I wonder how I got anything accomplished! I also wonder how much easier it may have been if I had known then what I know now…
Yes, as moms and business owners, we have #allthethings to do. It’s a bit unavoidable. Lots of things just have to get done.
There are dentist appointments to make, keep and remember.
List building, nurturing and segmenting…oh my!
Client calls, coaching calls. Calls, calls, calls.
And you should always have date night, too.
Oh – self-care! Um…does this half-eaten Snickers count…?
Yeah, it can get bad.
What does any organized woman do when she has a million things to get done? Make a list, of course!
So we make a list of everything that needs to get done. We tend to just brain dump everything onto a piece of paper or in our phone notes. Do you know how long that list can get? I mean, I could easily make a list of 58 things that need to get done. But do I really have time to do 58 productive things today?
Let’s just be real. I don’t.
No one without a team and a personal assistant can do that without falling down in exhaustion by the end of the day. (Or snapping at every single person you love by dinnertime. I mean…hypothetically.)
The problem with the all-encompassing to-do list is that it just creates overwhelm and disappointment. When you look at a task-list of more than you could get done in a month let alone in a day, it is actually psychologically overwhelming. Studies show that your brain kind of shuts off and thinks, “Well, there’s no way all that’s getting gone. I’m not even gonna try. Hey look – Netflix!” (Right?)
What are some other problems that arise when you use the Brain Dump Method to create your to-do list?
Lack of motivation
Not knowing the next best step
Not enough (or no) progress
It’s super hard to get motivated to work on a to-do list that is impossible to finish. Why? Because it’s pretty clear from the beginning that you will get a total of zero satisfaction and even less feelings of accomplishment by attempting it.
When I had a million things going on in my life, it really felt like EVERYTHING had to get done right now. So I would write down everything and go back and forth between desperately trying to get everything finished in panic mode, or giving my list the side-eye while I ate some more cookies and scrolled through my facebook feed. Of course, neither of these options resulted in feeling accomplished at all.
I found I was exhausted, prone to getting sick, eating poorly and being a giant stick in the mud when it came to being fun. This might be you, too.
So this isn’t working. It’s just not. You might not be good at this, and you might not want to hear it, but…
You have to pace yourself.
Take smaller bites.
Run shorter sprints.
It might seem like a step backward, but trust me – you’ll actually get more done AND you will feel so much better. And really, that’s the ultimate goal, right?
Introducing: The 1-3-5 Method
Instead of the traditional “write down everything you need to do ever” method, I have one that might more sense called the 1-3-5 Method. (Doesn’t that already sound more doable??)
So here’s what you do:
>At the top, write ONE thing that MUST get done today. (Yes, just one.)
--Now, erase what you wrote because you already wrote down more than one thing. (I know – old habits die hard.)
>Okay, in the middle section, write three “medium” areas to make progress in (meal prep, lead generation, connection with friends, journaling, etc) NOTE: this doesn’t have to be HUGE progress. Baby-step progress is perfectly fine.
>In the bottom section write five small tasks (signing that field trip note, quick phone call etc)
And. That’s. It.
Why does this method work?
Because it sends the message to your brain from the get-go that you can do this. It kind of makes your to-do list more like a motivational poster than a 500-page medical journal. Once you brain gets that “I got this!” signal, it amps up into action mode.
Then when you start accomplishing, crossing off and see the list quickly dwindling, your brain gets flooded with happy successful feelings. And since you’re accomplished, productive and happy, the rest of your life feels the benefits of that too! Doesn’t that just feel like a nice long deep breath?
How to implement it
Let’s put the 1-3-5 Method into action! Because who doesn’t want all those feel-good productive days!?
I have a free downloadable worksheet to help you get started on this method. Plus, it’s super pretty and will make you smile when you use it! Bonus!
Use the instructions above to chunk down your daily list so you can go from “to-do” to DONE! Seriously – print that bugger out right now and start using it! Commit to doing it for at least a week and see how it can transform your day.
Bottom line is I want you to start feeling better so you can get more done and be present in all the areas of your life that you love so much. The people around you deserve that. And girl – so do you!
Can’t wait to 1-3-5 my day!
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Hey there. Welcome! As a productivity & Business Strategist I help entrepreneurs like you, find the time to grow your business without the overwhelm, so there is more time for what matters most . xoxo