A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Lisa Dietlin speak on The Power of Three. She started with the story that gave way to her principle of the power of three. Long story short, she had a boss toss a list of 500 names on her desk, and told her she had to call everyone on the list. Overwhelmed at first, she realized if she just called three people a day, that's 15 people each week and around 780 people each year - allowing her to far surpass her goal of 500.
The thought of reaching out to three people is much more manageable than 500, and breaking down our work load, and even our personal goals, into segments of three makes the task of getting started much, much easier. If you combine The Art of Getting Things Done with The Power of Three, you define your project and focus on the three most important next steps to work towards finishing the project. This keeps you moving forward and working to achieve your goals, because it seems much more manageable to get three tasks done than to think about finishing the whole project. Working on a marketing plan? The next three steps may be to 1) define your target customers' demographic profile, 2) define their psychographic profile and 3) define their needs. That is much more manageable than saying 'finish marketing plan' and may make the task of getting started much less overwhelming.
As an entrepreneur, it's laughable to think about only achieving three things each day. That being said, I liked something about the closing task of naming three things I would like to accomplish by December 25th. So, I've tried to break down my day into segments, and within those segments pick the three most important things to accomplish each day. I've got a sales outreach section, sales followup for the day and so on. I just started last week so I can't say that I'm sold yet, but it's definitely helping me focus on the most important tasks to accomplish each day, and breaking them down in a way that I know I can accomplish.
While the verdict is still out, I like breaking my projects out into three tasks I can achieve each day.