The Authentic Assistant

What if the top 3 priorities method is not working for me

The goal to have an organised life is one that so many of us strive to achieve.

You have probably heard and even read about the amazing “top 3 priorities” method of achieving efficiency and full productivity in your day.  Click here for an example.

If you have tried it and felt frustrated at how it doesn’t work for you and wonder what you have been doing wrong or why can’t you do it like the so-called experts. You feel as if you failed as it seems to be the process that has saved so much time and stress with so many people.

What is the top 3 priorities method?

This is the method that means you list the top three priorities for the day. Your main focus is on these three tasks and trying to complete them or work on their progress as much as possible on that day.  

It sounds simple at first and maybe even achievable, but is it? 

Let’s face it, not everything we read is true. We have no idea if these gurus are even following the things that they are teaching. Maybe it does work for them and they can’t understand why it does not work for everyone. We always need to remember we are all individuals and what works from some doesn’t work for others and that is ok.

No two people have the same set up or situation in their lives. It may function sometimes but no method works all the time. We are not machines and even these need updating.  

Possible reasons why the top 3 priorities method doesn't work

How much time do you need everyday trying to weigh up what needs to be done for tomorrow and allocating the urgency of each task. 

That is time during the day you could focus on other things. 

Stress sets in as you realise you cannot achieve all or even one of these tasks on some days. Progress in one or two may be frustrating as you realise you have wasted so much time and achieved nothing. 

We are in such a changing world and some of us are working from home which has its own challenges, juggling children and family, running your own business or travelling for work. Others are in shift work and have no set routine so a day could be completely different for them. Some have such long commutes to and from work they are never sure how much time they could have to get things done. Traffic is not always predictable.

Have you also added some simple things e.g. have hot coffee in the morning to the list just to get some easy tasks in. The gratification of ticking that one off is empowering. That is also the moment you realise ok this is not working for me. 

Are there any other methods that are possible?

There are so many different possibilities and options you just have to be willing to try some things out. 

Some people thrive on the weekly plan or even a monthly one.  They sit down on one day, write down everything that needs to be done for the following week or month. 

With this overview in mind they can organise their upcoming week or month and allocate any tasks during the time. So if they have to do a few errands in town. Then write down the other tasks that could be done as well.


  • going to the chemist collecting meds
  • collecting dry cleaning or dropping some off
  • buying the birthday presents for the upcoming party
  • exchanging some clothes that don’t fit
  • donating the clothes after your declutter. 


It could mean ticking off a number of things from your to-do list in one morning or afternoon. Not just 3 things. Maybe it is only one or two but you have achieved the goal and can move on. 

On the days that you know you are already full and overscheduled you can leave them open to last minute things that you know always arise on the full on days. 

Any free moments on such a day are definitely welcome. Even if it is only time to enjoy your cup of coffee or tea and it is still that temperature you love, not too hot and not tepid. Once you get through the day you can still feel like you have had a productive day. 

So what is the secret to organising your life?

The secret is that it is your life and when you find the planning method that works best for you it is like a well oiled cog and you feel more empowered.

It is also important to remember not to worry if it doesn’t anymore. There is nothing stopping you from adapting it to suit your new lifestyle or routines, or try something new. 

You don’t have to use the same method your whole life. You can update your routine and try out other organization strategies. Don’t let the top 3 priorities method be the only method you try.

Maybe it is time to stop comparing yourself to other people. Just because something worked for them does not mean it has to for you. Read the post here on how to stop comparing yourself to others.