The Rule of Three

David Hadley

As it is nearly the end of the financial year I am sure we all have our tax planning well and truly under control. Hence my blog this week will not mention anything about tax.

I recently received two articles via electronic media in relation to how to perform better in business. Both these articles listed 7 techniques/attitudes each to assist you in performing better in your business. There was a duplication of 2 items that both listed, giving a combined total of 12. Having to concentrate on 12 items at once could possible overwhelm you. It would also make the challenge of completing them appear very daunting. Then I noted that one of the articles suggested to pick three items and concentrate on them over the next week or so. This as you may have heard us mention before refers to the ‘rule of three’.

The United States Marine Corp believes strongly in the rule of three. They believe that the rule dictates that a person should limit his or her attention to three tasks or goals. Anything more and you can become overextended and confused. They experimented with a rule of four and found that effectiveness plummeted.

Three things can easily be remembered. Any more and our retention suffers.

You can apply the rule of three to most things in life whether it’s business or private.

As this is a business blog let’s look at how we could apply it for a business. If business is struggling at the moment, take a good hard look at what is going wrong and list the three most important areas that need improving? Concentrate on those, even seek assistance if required.

If business is going well, look at the three things you are doing right and don’t let them deteriorate. You can also look at three things that could disrupt your success and protect them.

With the two articles I received, the three issues that stood out to me were;

1. Enjoyment/ Business is fun

We are in business or in the work force for a long period of time. If we don’t enjoy what we do our performance will suffer.

A British Psychologist “Dr Robert Holden” often emphasises that you can either choose to have a good or bad day.

A good easy read about this is the book ‘Fish’ written by Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen.

2. I know I can

As Henry Ford said, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right”. ┬áTake control, own it and be accountable for it.

3. I don’t know what I don’t know

Personal and professional growth requires an open mind and a willingness to try new things.

If you think you know it all, you close your mind to new things and therefore do not develop and grow.

May I now suggest that tonight, as it is nearly the end of the financial year and the beginning of the weekend go and have a drink or two, no wait three and start planning on three things.

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