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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:How Many Things Are on Your Plate?

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Just before the mayhem of moving (with bonus mayhem, and not even counting the holidays) started -- I ran across an thought-provoking piece at Jean Moroney's site, Thinking Directions. Moroney reports on her decision to test, for a few weeks, a "Rule of Six" planning tactic expounded by Chet Holmes in The Ultimate Sales Machine. Moroney lists five findings from her test, and closes as follows:

raw_oysters.jpg
Half a dozen is way too low a number for some kinds of tasks. (Image via Unsplash.)
The concrete lesson? Six is not a magic number, but the discipline of listing a set number of to-do's each day can boost your productivity.

The abstract lesson is more interesting. A productivity "rule" may sound arbitrary, but contain an important principle. You can find out the principle by experimenting with the rule, keeping your eyes open to see how it does or does not make your work more productive. [bold added]
I'd forgotten about this post until yesterday, and am glad I flagged it for later review. As I experiment with a new project before the holidays, part of my goal is to figure out how much of the kind of work I can actually fit into a day. Six tasks may be too low or too high, depending on how I divide or measure the work. But the point that it is useful to list goals each day is well taken: It's really the only way to begin learning whether one's planning is realistic.

-- CAV

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