How does the 1-3-5 rule work?

What is 1-3-5 Rule and how can it boost your productivity

Updated on September 22nd, 2023

We are all fragile against the luring promises of procrastination and distraction. Most of us end up creating to-do lists that are humiliating with unfulfilled tasks. When we don’t have proper methods to chart our to-do list and plans – we mostly fail to get things done according to our wild- not so humanly possible plans. It is very important that we plan with a strategy in mind. This can help to boost our productivity significantly. This blog will explain What is the 1-3-5 rule and how it works. We will also discuss the benefits of the 1-3-5 rule and understand how to implement this rule.

What is the 1-3-5 Rule?

The 1-3-5 Rule is a structured technique by which you can categorize your tasks into a to-do list that is proven to increase productivity. This rule asks you to accomplish 1 big mission, 3 medium tasks, and 5 small things. Coupling this productivity rule with your to-do list can give a boost to your productivity.

How does the 1-3-5 rule work?

1-3-5 Rule To Do List
It is easier to find undisturbed short intervals of time to do small tasks in a day than to find long hours of uninterrupted hours to do a bigger task.

This is what the 1-3-5 rule takes into consideration.

The rule emphasizes the importance of getting the most difficult and most important task to get done first.

It also recognizes that if tasks are simpler, we need to do more of them if we want to judge ourselves to be productive.

how 1-3-5 rule works

Why do we fail to achieve our to-do list?

There are just too many things to be done every day to survive our ruthless competitive world. Most of our plans end up being mere fantasies. This is because we plan our day with no strategy or understanding of our capabilities and schedules. When we get bombarded with too many meetings, tasks, unexpected chit-chats, and breaks, we lose track of our plans.

Each day comes with unexpected distractions that ruin our plans. It could be your wrecked heels, that bus that came late, or your inability to turn back a colleague that doesn’t stop talking. Every 5 minutes of distraction has the strength to bring your plans out of shape.

The 1-3-5 Rule reorients our tasks to a list that is achievable in a day giving respect to our schedules and unexpected time lags.

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Benefits of following a 1-3-5 to-do list for enhancing productivity

The 1-3-5 rule helps you from feeling overwhelmed and left behind in your everyday to-do lists. Following listed are some of the best benefits of following the 1-3-5 to-do list.

Increases your productivity

The first thing to say about what this rule can do to you is – it lifts up your productivity and helps to get more things done

increase your productivity using 1-3-5 rule
prioritize work with 1-3-5 rule

Helps to prioritize your work

Without a good understanding of what your priorities are, you are mostly lost. When we incorporate a productivity-enhancing framework like the 1-3-5 rule into our to-do list, we give more thought to what measures of priority each task deserves.

Helps to build a more practical to-do list

Ninety percent of respondents in a LinkedIn poll claimed that they don’t get to fulfill their everyday to-do list. This brings us to the conclusion that most days are not as predictable as we think. However, the 1-3-5 rule gives a flexible to-do list that gets more things done

1-3-5 rule helps to focus on tasks that actually matters

Helps to focus on tasks that actually matter

1-3-5 rule helps to focus on tasks that actually matter when we split less time for small, miscellaneous, and less priority tasks

It builds a good habit

One of the best benefits of following a 1-3-5 rule to-do list is that it cultivates a very lifting habit with how we frame and deal with our everyday to-do list.

build good habits using 1-3-5 rule

How to Implement the 1-3-5 Rule?

1-3-5 Rule emphasizes prioritizing your tasks. It demands to categorize your tasks into one priority task, three medium priority tasks, and five smaller tasks. Following is the chronology of steps you need to follow to successfully implement the 1-3-5 rule in your daily routine.

    Step 1 – Write it down

    The first step for implementing the 1-3-5 rule is to literally write down everything you have to do.

    Step 2 – Split tasks between productive hours

    (Note: A typical 8-hour work day can be estimated to have only 6 hours of productive hours.)

    1. Map the usual hours of break and make guesses of interruptions that can arise in between working hours.
    2. Allocate those hours with less number of interruptions for the priority task.
    3. Allocate those hours with more interruptions for small less priority tasks.

1-3-5 Rule Template

1-3-5 rule templates can make the implementation of this rule a lot easier. You can download the template given above.

1-3-5 Rule App

If you want to digitalize your to-do list and find its management at your fingertips, 1-3-5 rule apps can help you. Some of the best software or apps to implement the 1-3-5 rule are:

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Final Thoughts

Implementing the 1-3-5 Rule in your everyday life will boost your productivity. Coupling this productivity technique with other equally benefiting techniques can further give an upliftment to your productivity. According to Gallup, 85 % of employees feel disengaged at work and this causes productivity to lose costing $7 Trillion a year. Do not organize things in your brain. Give it the liberty to be out there in the paper. Releasing your to-do list from your head and burdening its organization on a paper will itself feel comforting for your head from being bombarded with thoughts.

Meet The Author
Misbah Thevarmannil

Content Writer at Desklog

Misbah Thevarmannil's writing is both tech-savvy and grounded in creativity. She combines a play on words with an encyclopedic knowledge of technical subjects to produce piece that are clear, concise, and accessible to her audience. Thevarmannil has been on the forefront of technology for years, and she keeps up with software trends from writers, developers, and the like.

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