The rule of 72 hours

Try to implement your ideas no longer than in 72 hours ( 3 days). This is the optimal time for the first step to achieving a long-term goal.

How it works

Bodo Schaefer, a German business consultant and speaker, says that if you put off the planned task for more than 72 hours, the probability that it will remain just a plan, grows up to 85%. Getting down to the work immediately, we give the brain a signal that the goal is important to us, and making the first steps successfully  – even such basic ones as finding information or sending e-mail, we program ourselves for success. Procrastination, by contrast, undermines our faith in ourselves and reduces the chances that the plan will be brought to life.

According to the first law of a British historian Cyril Parkinson “work takes the time allotted to it” that is the task gets importance and complexity depending on proportion to the time allotted for its realization. It turns out that allotting a week for the task which can be done in two hours, of selecting the week, we give it more importance and convince ourselves in the complexity of its implementation. This law explains the magic of deadline: specification of time limits set for the assignment, makes us work more effectively.
For implementing any task, define three steps to its realization. Make a list of simple, concrete actions for today and tomorrow (finish until 23:00) and tomorrow (again finish until 23:00). Having defined three steps for each of the goals, take three steps of column “do it now.” Do them immediately. Of course, the action should be simple, so that it was possible to finish in five minutes or even faster. <…> “Tomorrow” – it means “never.” Whatever the task is, make the first step now!