The 365 Commitment

Three is the Number

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Have you thought about what causes this emotion? I am developing a theory that we can handle three things to worry about at any given time. However, the instant we get to four, then the overwhelmed feelings kick in.

It is like this. When you walk into a room, if you see a few things out of place you can tolerate it. However, watch what happens when you see four or more things out of place. You throw up your hands and exclaim what a horrible mess it is. You are now overwhelmed.

I have a trick, or a life hack, for you to consider. Whenever you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed about having too much stuff to do, then just make a quick list of what you know has to be done. You will notice that it is really easy to get a list of three, then you add a fourth. As you add them, it is very curious how it is easy to get that list together up to four, but the fifth one is harder to figure out. This is because it is always four things that make you feel that way.

All you have to do is get your list back down to three or fewer and this feeling will go away. This is why procrastination is such a bad thing for us. Push off too many things, and you will get overwhelmed quickly. So try it. Make a quick list and then quickly get enough of them done so the list is back to fewer than 3.

Guy Reams

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