3 + 1 = Improvement

Training and development

Improvement really is this simple. But that doesn't mean it is easy. Why does it seem so easy to get distracted? I'm not even going to try to answer that question today. But we all get distracted from time to time.

How can you limit distraction? You need to have a plan. I'm going to give you a plan that has been working for me.

3 + 1 is my plan. Its simplicity is key.

First, the 3 stands for 3 things you are planning to focus on tomorrow. Yep, it is pretty basic. The only added complexity is ranking those 3 items by importance. When you write them down, write them in order of priority.

  1. High
  2. Medium
  3. Low

By ranking your 3 items, you are mentally preparing yourself for tomorrow and how you will be spending your time. When tomorrow comes, keep your list nearby (try sticky notes or a smartphone app). Revisit your list throughout the day. Has your attention been diverted from your most important task? Refocus your energy back to the task with the highest priority. Give completed tasks a strike-through to reinforce to yourself you can move on to the next item.

At the end of the day, look at your list one last time. Did you accomplish all 3 items on your list? If you weren't able to complete all items, carry them forward to tomorrow, but take time to prioritize any new tasks against your carryover. Just because something was on your list of priorities today, doesn't mean it has the same priority tomorrow (it may not even make the next day's list).

"+ 1"

The "+ 1" carries a different meaning than your list of 3. Its purpose is harnessing your personal goals. The "+ 1" is about capturing 1 thing that you want to personally improve on the next day. Focus on the word improve. Perhaps you want to improve your knowledge on a specific topic or improve your presentation skills. Whatever your 1 thing is, add it to your list but keep it separate from your prioritized tasks. Over time you'll swap this focus out something new you want to improve in the future.

Are you willing to give this a try? If so, I'd appreciate hearing how this approach works for you.


Jef Lippiatt

Owner at Startup Chucktown

I focus on business strategy, diversification and divergent thinking. I enjoy helping others see the hidden opportunities in front of them.


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