I recently discovered a technique to ensure you do the most important things every single day.

Invented by best-selling author Greg McKeown who wrote the book (“Essentialism”), it’s called the 1-2-3 system.

Do 1 essential task

Every morning, ask yourself: if I did only 1 thing today, what should it be?

Even better, ask yourself that question every evening about the following day.

This is your #1 priority.

Ideally, it would be a project that aligns with your main goals for the year.

Work on it first thing in the morning, when you have the most energy.

Block off 1, 2 or 3 uninterrupted hours, depending on your schedule and the project.

Do 2 urgent tasks

Choose 2 tasks that must get done today to avoid falling behind.

McKeown calls them “urgent but essential”, meaning they could have serious consequences if not done today. It’s what Stephen Covey would call “urgent and important” in his 1st quadrant (“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”).

This could be a deadline, a meeting, a commitment, a phone or Zoom call, or an appointment.

Most often, these are tasks that were scheduled.

“Ignoring them can lead to missed opportunities, strained relationships, or compounded problems” says the author.

Do 3 maintenance tasks

Personal or professional, these to-dos may not be glamorous, and might seem like busy work, but doing them today will make your life easier tomorrow.

They can be done when you have less energy, for example after lunch.

Here are “step 3” maintenance tasks:

  • unpacking your suitcase after a trip
  • replying to a timely email
  • emptying your inbox
  • doing laundry
  • paying bills
  • creating your meal plan
  • going to a doctor’s appointment
  • nurturing a relationship
  • servicing your car
  • home repairs.

Overlooking them might snowball and cause more stress.

They will require more energy, time, and resources in the future.

This is it. It’s a deceptively simple system that helps you focus on the truly important and avoid distractions.

Remember: 1 essential, 2 urgent (but important), 3 maintenance tasks.

Give it a try for a week or two, and see how you feel about your productivity!

If you would like to learn how Chronos can help you and your team regain time and sanity, please reach out to us. Simply click on the Discovery Call button above or visit www.ChronosVet.com

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Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ, Fear Free certified

Co-Founder of Chronos LLC