Those that work with me soon realise I like to keep things simple! They will have also noticed I have become a little bit obsessed with the number 3. Let me explain.
When you’re making changes in your life, no matter how small, you can make it harder for yourself if you try to do too many things at once. As someone who has consistently tried to prove this theory wrong, I’ve come to learn that being able to multi-task isn’t always that helpful!
What is helpful is focusing on just 3 things. This stops you getting bogged down and bored by concentrating on only one thing, allows for a little variety but still enables you to focus your time and energy on the 3 things that will really make a difference, avoiding the distraction and frustration of having too many things to do at once.
The ‘Rule of 3’ or ‘Power of 3’ is commonly applied to many areas of our life. The rule suggests that things that come in threes are funnier, more satisfying, more effective, and/or more memorable, than other numbers of things. For example, when listing examples of things, 3 are usually provided. The same rule is applied in the world of comedy, “3 men went into a bar…”, and is the secret behind the most effective communication. We find it easier to follow when we can break something down and remember 3 key things. Marketeers use it religiously and so do brilliant story tellers. Remember all those childhood stories that captured your imagination such as 3 Billy Goats Gruff, 3 Blind Mice, The 3 Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the 3 Bears?
There are many coaching techniques which also apply the same theory in helping individuals to enable change, for example:
- Positive affirmations – Write down 3 things you’ve achieved each day
- Career planning – 3 lists of negotiables, non-negotiables and nice-to-haves
- Prioritizing time – If you could only do 3 things, what would they be?
Really simple, but really effective. Don’t you want more of that in your life?!
As an aside I also find trios of things aesthetically pleasing, but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence! Look at these beautiful tea lights. Gorgeously simple – 2 tea lights would have been a bit dull, but 4 would have been a bit busy! 3, a neat little collection that makes an impact without too much fuss. Just up my street!