If only all techniques were this motivational

Nov 06, 2023

I had been contemplating Oliver Burkeman's "3/3/3 Technique" for quite some time, and finally decided to put it into action in August of this year. It has been a revolutionary approach for me.


In his newsletter, Burkeman outlines his intentions for a normal working day using this technique. Firstly, he dedicates three hours to his most important current project, setting specific goals for the progress he aims to make that day. Secondly, he focuses on completing three shorter tasks, which are usually urgent to-dos or tasks that he has been avoiding. These tasks typically take just a few minutes each, and he includes calls and meetings in this category as well.  

Lastly, he allocates time to three 'maintenance activities,' which are tasks that require daily attention to ensure smooth functioning in his life.


Even when implementing this technique it is still necessary to define what needs to be worked on and prioritise tasks for each category. However, it has provided me with a greater sense of focus and productivity. 



With projects, I have noticed a significant increase in productivity. In fact, I am now 25% further along with a particular project than I had initially planned. Not only that, but I am also more motivated to carry out the work. I set an alarm, close down all other apps, including email, and really get into the zone. I feel focused and driven.


Shorter tasks

As for the three shorter tasks, I find them to be surprisingly enjoyable to work on. Previously, these tasks would often be burdensome, but by limiting myself to just three, I find that I not only achieve them but often accomplish even more. This, in turn, boosts my motivation. Adding to this, it also helps clarify what does not need to be carried out and can be cancelled.


Maintenance activities

When it comes to maintenance activities, I include meetings and calls in this category, and I usually have more than three of them. However, that doesn't demotivate me. By blocking off dedicated time in my calendar, I can fully focus my attention on these tasks alone.

By applying the AC/DC© prioritisation and scheduling method, I have been able to break free from the constant need to randomly check emails and other maintenance tasks.


I am not carrying this out habitually, I am still very much at 'conscious competence' stage, therefore it is 'most of the time' I apply this. Of course, like any good technique or method, it is important to adapt it to suit your own needs. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. For me, I actively incorporate the 3/3/3 technique into my time management strategies, and it has been a game-changer.



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