Chapter 3

Rachel Lacap shares:

Chapter 3 focused on the “three daily tasks” and the “rule of 3”. Determining what three things you want to accomplish every day and every week will help you work deliberately and with intention every day. The author said that this system is the absolute best system to work intentionally. Basically, the rule of three states that you must know your three most valuable tasks that you want to accomplish every WEEK, and every DAY. By my own admission, I have trouble getting through the first taskon my “to do” list simply because I get distracted by 10 other tasks on my “to do” list while working on my first task. I LOVED this system because it really helped me to filter out the hundreds of “extra”things that seem to take over my “to do” and distract me from my most important items that need to be completed. For example, I may sit down at my computer with intention to complete all my speech logs for the day, but while sitting at my computer logging data, I periodically check my email and see that a teacher has asked me to add someone to my screening list. At that point, I pull out my screening list, add this student’s name, and then see that I screened another student eariler in the week and need to get intervention information to the teacher. So, of course, I then open up my interention documents, print that information for the teacher and get it sorted. Just as I am getting ready to get back to my logs, I get a text from a colleague telling me of a great resource she saw on Teachers Pay Teachers. Let’s just say, once I get on TPT, I am a lost cause. I am sucked into the abyss of awesome materials and constantly thinking “oh, wow! I should do this! I need to download this one—it’s free!” Before I know it, it’s 10:00pm and I’m yawning and ready for bed. I have spent the entire evening thinking about work and doing work related tasks, but never completing my FIRST and MAIN task.

The author stated that keeping the items to “three things” helped him to keep these three items at the front of his mind. If anyone asked him what he planned for the day, he could easily rattle off the three things he wanted to accomplish that day. The rule helps you work smarter because by deciding what you want to accomplish, you also decide what you DON’T intend to accomplish. Also, the rule focuses on the GOALS you want to accomplish and not what you want to get done, so you feel more productive. This is in contrast to looking at the laundry list of things you need to get done and then feeling dissatisfied at the end of the day that you did not get them done.

The Challenge is to determine what your “three things” would be. The author stated that at the beginning of the day, you should sit down and fast forward to the end of the day and ask yourself what three things you would want to have done by the end of the day. Think about when, where, and how you will accomplish each activity. You can start with the daily ritual and then add in the weekly ritual. You can also add in “three personal accomplishments” in addition to your three accomplishments for your work life. I am definitely looking forward to using the rule of three in my daily time management routine and am hopeful it will improve my productivity and decrease my ability to get distracted.

The Productivity Project-Chapter 1

Dala Sparks (SLP at Johnson and Meyzeek Middle Schools) kicks off our fall book study with Chapter 1:

The Productivity Project begins with an introduction to the Author’s idea, time commitment and research involved in developing the 25 most powerful tactics to increase productivity. In this first chapter, Bailey discusses that changes in our habits and/or daily routines are necessary to improve our productivity; However, which routines or habits we choose to modify or add must be important and meaningful to us. His initial productivity experiment began with him attempting to change his morning routine by becoming an early riser. So  many times we are inundated with information about how early risers are more productive or even more successful. In this experiment, Bailey modified his morning routine to wake at 5:30. He did this by slowly adjusting his waking time over the course of a few weeks until he reached his goal of waking at 5:30 am. In turn, he discovered that he also had to go to bed earlier. He reports that he was often going to bed at a time when he felt most productive, additionally, he was frequently saying “no” to social opportunities in an attempt to adhere to an earlier bedtime. In further research, he reports that there is no difference in the socioeconomic standards of early birds vs night owls, rather the true difference in productivity is based on how our waking hours are spent.

Ultimately, he decided this routine was not meaningful enough, to him, to implement long-term. He reverted back to his later bedtime in an effort to preserve his values of spending time with his friends and taking advantage of his most productive time- the evening hours. 

Personally, I found this chapter to be one that peaks my interest to know more about Bailey’s research and tactics. I am an early bird, and though Bailey did not directly talk about the importance of how long we rest, he did discuss that he adjusted his “to bed” time to be early when he adjusted his “wake up” time to 5:30am. In the end, his conclusion is simply: what we accomplish when awake is important. Though his findings also strongly suggest that sufficient sleep, whether an early riser or night owl, is also important. The suggestion of “shut down” time – referring to disconnecting from devices for a full 12 hours- is both enlightening and motivating. I too would like to try to implement this tactic in an attempt to focus more closely on my values – as derived from the experiment we participated in this chapter, mine are my health and my family. The overall idea of this chapter is that our values will drive our productivity, so identifying those firsthand will then allow us to then identify what habits and routines we want to implement to boost our productivity. What were your responses to the Values Challenge? Why do you want to be more productive?


Chapter 2

Meditate for 35 hours in a week…..35 HOURS!?!?! HOLY COW! Although I can’t say that I even attempted 35 hours of meditation, I started with what I thought was a reasonable goal. That goal was to meditate for 2 minutes. That seems easy enough, right? Not for me…. While I consider myself to be a relatively mindful person, meditation is a struggle for me. My mind seems to always be “running.” In the past, I have considered this a plus when it comes to productivity. It seems that, according to Bailey’s research, that is not a correct assumption. It surprised me to think that meditation may help me to better balance the 3 pieces of productivity: time, attention, and energy. So… My plan is to work on this.

I also think the idea that expectations met= more productivity is interesting. Did you accomplish what you intended to? I’m not sure I agree with this. Although I do think if we are thoughtful about our expectations, this is true. He indicates that we are more likely to identify the most important tasks accurately when we meditate. My thought is, though, sometimes things happen that are out of the plan, so how do we factor in these things?

Some other points that I found interesting and points to ponder:

Not all tasks are created equal

Cute baby animals…..

Just checking off the items that “happen to fall onto your to do list” may not be the productive way.


1. Make a list of everything you are responsible for

2. Ask yourself: What ONE item on the list is the most important- To you and your boss

3. What other 2 tasks would round out your top 3?


Did you complete this challenge? How did it go?

Data collection

Sarah Crady (SLP at Kenwood Elem.) shares:

I didn’t know if this would be helpful to anyone else but I thought I would share my data collection sheet that I updated to focus on the annual goal collection. The top of the data sheet is where I take daily data and write notes about what I did that day for my PCG notes. I just added the bottom portion to help me with keeping track of the annual goal throughout the grading periods. I am in Elementary so it only has spots for 2 data collection per grading period but anyone could adjust it to fit their needs.

Data Sheet

Thanks, Sarah!!