Time Management Using the 3C Method

Many of us write daily to-do lists, with the best intentions in the world to get to and complete what we’ve written. When things just don’t seem to get done though, there is a way to hold yourself accountable and accomplish your list. You can use the 3C method.

First, CHECK.

As you complete each task, check it off. You know have tangible evidence of a finished job. Acknowledging a job completed is a confidence booster and can make the remainder of your list appear more doable. On a particularly busy day, checking off those tasks can be the difference between feeling down or feeling all is right with the world.

Second, CIRCLE.

Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. When it seems nothing gets checked, circle those tasks instead. By circling uncompleted jobs (a) you don’t forget what you wanted to do; (b) it forces you to make decisions as to where your time is going; and (c) at the end of your week, you can look over what you’ve continually circled. If one of the things on your to-do list was “go to the gym” and you’ve circled it every day, it’s time to take a hard look at your commitment to exercise. Whether personal or professional, now you have a clear picture as to what’s important to you and what isn’t.

Third, COLOR.

Response to color is a born-in-us stimulus, and by using highlighters on your list, you’ve created a subconscious nudge to get the job done. Separate colors for each task can help set priorities and, with highlighters in all colors, you decide on your own personal color code. Now you can quickly see at a glance what should be done and in what order. Bottom line, any to-do list is a help in getting you through your day, but using the 3C method leads to actual accomplishment.

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