Do you wake up wondering when that magical day will come when your to-do list is shorter at the end of the day than when you began? Or the overwhelm of being an online business owner gets too much, and the excitement of starting your own business and being in control of your income is slowly dying? Those ideas that are lying around in the dozens of notebooks on your desk, unused, because you can’t keep up with all the ideas, and you don’t really know what to focus on, a.k.a shiny object syndrome?
I’ve been there, and I totally can relate to how you are feeling. In one way, this is probably what led me to close my first online business, an online boutique. I don’t want you to get to that point because I know that you can build a business without overwhelm. You can scale it without getting stressed out or self sabotaging because you now resent what it has become.
The method I am about to share has been a game-changer in my business and life. I call it the Power of 3. Which came up after realizing how easy it is for us busy moms to get into the habit of being busy, and not necessarily productive. I realized that the fewer things I had going on, the faster I could get them done. And move on to the next thing on my goal list.
The Power of 3 method is simply restricting yourself to just 3 things that you want to accomplish each day, week and quarter.
There is a lot of science and psychology behind prioritizing and selecting just 3 things to focus on. This is why I hate to-do lists and multi-tasking. The evidence is already out there that these habits inhibit your productivity and keep you distracted and unfocused, making it even harder to hit your goals.
So instead, here are 7 steps to using the Power of 3. This will help you start hitting your side hustle goals without overwhelm or trading family time for business…again:
Step 1: Brainstorm all the ideas in your head about your business and what you want to do to hit your goals, starting with your quarterly Power of 3
Pick 3 of those ideas that you think will give you the best outcome for the effort you will put into them. You also want to list them in order of their priority.
Why 3? The brain easily grasps and remembers things in 3. Once you start adding more to 3 things, it can be easily overwhelming and difficult to remember.
Instead, we want you to have bite-size results and success every week. And the Power of 3 is a super-effective way of achieving that.
PRO TIP: Write out your power of 3 before the week starts. I like to do this on a Sunday evening. Before the noise and clutter of Monday comes and hijacks my list. This way you are putting down things that are actually moving you ahead instead of things that have suddenly become extremely urgent. Such as checking mails, replying to comments on Facebook groups.
How do you know what you should prioritize? Ask yourself “what 3 things can I focus on this week to get me closer to my overall goal for the month”? Most often, these 3 things are income-generating activities like marketing or content creation or working on a new product.
Always keep in mind that your 3 activities are the 3 things that will get you 80% of the result you are looking for.
Step 2: Turn your big 3 for the quarter into your power of 3 on a weekly basis.
I typically go from 3 main things each quarter to selecting one of those 3 main things each month.
I will then have 3 priorities each week to help me achieve the 1 main thing I am focusing on for the month.
Ask yourself: What can you do to prepare for the 3 items that you must complete this week that are non negotiable?
Step 3: Turn your Power of 3 into result-based activities.
So instead of saying “5 Customers next month”, say “Pitch & convert 5 leads into paying customers”.
Instead of “I want to learn more about Trello”, say that “I want to have created 1 new board in Trello to organize my business”. This will register in your brain more clearly as to what the next point of action should be. As opposed to keeping it vague.
A result list is way more effective than a to-do list. Because at the end of the day, being busy does not translate into success. Doing the right things that will get you the results you want, is what we want to focus on.
Step 4: Time block your Power of 3 RESULTS for the week into your schedule
After doing the time block exercise, do you have enough time to work on your Power of 3? And you can get your free time blocking template here. Have you overscheduled yourself? Do you need to reduce your Power of 3 to maybe 2 or 1 result-based activity? This is based on how busy you are with other areas of your life in the upcoming week.
Check out this post or this post for more tips on time blocking. And some of my best time management tips.
On a daily basis, you will break down your weekly 3 into action steps that you can work on and chip away with as little as 20-minute time blocks.
Step 5: Check if you are time-good or time-bad
Once you have time blocked out for these activities, you can then assess if you have any spare time left to work on your wishlist, aka to-do list.
First, leave a buffer for any overspills. We tend to underestimate how long it will take for us to work on these result-based activities, so I would always
- Leave buffer time
- Block out twice the time you think it will take to complete the activities
Step 6: Review the past week + Adjust/Learn
At the end of the week, don’t just go into the next week without
Reviewing what went well, and what didn’t
What could you do better?
Which distractions came in the way of achieving your top 4
Doing a time audit to see how your time was spent, and whether there were any distractions that stopped you from achieving the results you wanted to see
Adjust as necessary for the next week
Step 7: Always practice gratitude.
It may sound like a woowoo thing to do, but trust me, you will be so glad you did it! It keeps you motivated and gives you even more confidence that you can totally achieve the results you want. Both for your business and even your personal life, the more you get those wins
Never underestimate the power of completing just 3 result-based activities. If you do this consistently for one year, you will get to over 1,000 activities done and dusted. Imagine how that would feel and where that would take you in terms of your big goals?
Use the time blocking template in this free guide to put your Power of 3 into action for the upcoming week. Let me know in the comments how you feel after completing this exercise!