The One Productivity Hack to Rule Them All: Get More Done In A Day With This 3-Step Method


The One Productivity Hack to Rule Them All: Get More Done In A Day With This 3-Step Method

Running a trades or construction business has its unique challenges, and one of the most daunting tasks is efficiently managing the daily workload as a business owner. Most of you are still working IN your business, while juggling the necessary work ON your business, to fuel growth. The dynamic nature of this role requires constant juggling of tasks, from project management to team coordination, leaving business owners grappling with the complexity of their daily to-do lists.

Faced with such challenges, the 1-3-5 method emerges as a beacon of productivity and efficiency. This blog aims to shed light on the specific hurdles faced by trades and construction business owners in their day-to-day operations, and introduce the transformative potential of the 1-3-5 method. By the end, you’ll not only understand the intricacies of managing tasks in these industries, but also be equipped with a new game-changing strategy for boosting daily productivity and reducing overwhelm, resulting in a healthier and more profitable business

Understanding the 1-3-5 Method

The 1-3-5 method of time management is a strategic approach that brings order to the chaos of daily responsibilities. The reason this method is so effective is because it acknowledges that there is only so much work that you can get done in a single day. As such, it focuses your to-do list on 9 tasks.

A leading cause of inefficiency among business owners is overwhelm, which often comes from staring at a long list of tasks that need to be completed. The 1-3-5 method simplifies the complex landscape of tasks by limiting the number of tasks you set yourself and categorising them into three distinct levels:

1. One Big Task:

This is the task that requires the most effort, in time and energy. In the trades and construction industry, this looks like tackling a substantial, high-priority task that aligns with overarching business goals. It’s a task that focuses on a pivotal project or objective that, once accomplished, significantly impacts business success.

2. Three Medium Tasks:

These are three tasks that aren’t overly strenuous to complete, but require a little more thought. Typically, they’re about balancing priorities and addressing critical aspects of daily operations that require immediate attention. This could also be breaking down the workload of another big task into moderately-sized chunks that contribute to the accomplishment.

3. Five Small Tasks:

Attending smaller, yet essential, tasks that may otherwise be overlooked. These are tasks that ensure routine responsibilities and minor details are not neglected, contributing to business efficiency.

Benefits of the 1-3-5 Method:

1. Structured Prioritisation: This method establishes a clear hierarchy for tasks, helping business owners get clarity and focus on what matters most. It also reduces wasted time by minimising decision fatigue by providing a structured framework for daily planning.

2. Enhanced Time Management: Without a system, responsibilities are forgotten. Business owners either spend too much time ON the business or too much time IN the business, and so the other falls to the wayside. Allocating dedicated time to tackle significant tasks ensures that doesn’t happen.

3. Strategic Goal Alignment: Aligning daily tasks with long-term business objectives promotes a cohesive and purposeful workflow. It creates a roadmap for success by systematically addressing tasks that contribute to the business’s overarching goals.

Tailoring the 1-3-5 Method for Trades and Construction Business Owners

From project intricacies to team coordination, recognising and overcoming these challenges is essential for sustained success when using any efficiency method. One of the reasons the 1-3-5 method works so well for trades and construction business owners is because it offers a tailored solution, allowing business owners to navigate their unique daily hurdles with precision.

Common daily challenges for trades and construction business owners can include:

  • Project Timelines: Balancing multiple projects with distinct timelines and deliverables.
  • Resource Allocation: Efficiently managing manpower, equipment, and materials for optimal productivity.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Navigating complex industry regulations and ensuring adherence to safety standards.
  • Client Communication: Maintaining clear and effective communication with clients throughout project life cycles.

1-3-5 Example For A Trades and Construction Business Owner

Big Task: 

  • Developing a comprehensive project schedule for a new construction project.

Medium Tasks Examples:

  • Coordinating with suppliers to ensure timely material deliveries.
  • Conducting a regular team meeting to address project updates and challenges.
  • Reviewing and adjusting project budgets based on ongoing expenses.

Small Tasks Examples:

  • Checking and responding to daily emails and client inquiries.
  • Updating project management software with the latest progress and changes.
  • Inputting your key numbers (such as profit, expenses, cashflow, etc) into your tracking software.
  • Social Media Engagement on your company profiles
  • Customer Follow-ups. This can include expressing gratitude for their business or checking in on their satisfaction with your products or services.

By customising the 1-3-5 method to the specific needs and priorities of your trades and construction businesses, you can effectively address daily challenges while tackling larger tasks that contribute to the overall success and scalability of your operations.

Allocating Timings To Your Tasks

Now that you’ve split your day into 9 pieces, how should you effectively split your time between these tasks to ensure you have enough time to work through your list each day?

There are two ways to split your time, and the one you pick comes down to preference, the tasks you need to complete, and other activities you need to plan your day around. Let’s say you have 6 hours of productive working time in a day:

  • Time Split 1 – Allocating 2 hours to each category. This would give 2 hours for your one big task, 40 minutes each for your three medium tasks, and 20 minutes each for your five small tasks.
  • Time Split 2 – Use a 3:2:1 ratio. This would give 3 hours for your one big task, 40 minutes each for your three medium tasks, and 12 minutes each for your five smaller tasks.

10 Quick Tips for Implementing the 1-3-5 Method to Improve Productivity and Efficiency

  1. Start with the Big Picture: Begin your day by identifying one significant task that aligns with your long-term business goals. This sets the tone for your overall productivity.
  2. It’s not exhaustive: Just because something isn’t on the list doesn’t mean you can’t do it. The 1-3-5 method should be a helping hand, not a strict rule.
  3. It doesn’t need to be perfect: One of the benefits of implementing a method like this is to make your day more productive and efficient. Don’t waste time making a ‘perfect’ list when there’s a likelihood it could change throughout the day anyway.
  4. Set Realistic Timeframes: Assign specific timeframes to each task to avoid overcommitting. Realistic deadlines help manage expectations and reduce stress.
  5. Adapt to Daily Changes: Stay flexible. If unexpected tasks arise, reassess your 1-3-5 plan and adjust accordingly. Adaptability is key to handling the dynamic nature of business.
  6. Leverage Technology: Utilise productivity tools and apps to streamline task management. Calendar apps, project management software, and reminders can enhance organisation.
  7. Batch Similar Tasks: Group similar tasks together to maximise efficiency. This minimises context-switching and allows you to focus on related activities in a single time block.
  8. Regularly Review and Reflect: Take time at the end of each day to review your completed tasks and assess your productivity. Reflect on what worked well and identify areas for improvement.
  9. Delegate Effectively: Delegate tasks that others can handle, especially smaller tasks. Empowering your team enhances productivity and allows you to focus on strategic priorities.
  10. Celebrate Small Wins: Acknowledge and celebrate the completion of tasks. Recognising achievements, no matter how small, boosts morale and motivates continued productivity.

Hack Your Productivity to Take Your Business To New Heights

When constant to-do list overwhelm stops you from performing at your best for you, your business, and your employees, mastering productivity becomes a linchpin for success. The 1-3-5 method, as explored in this blog, emerges as a powerful ally for business owners seeking not only to manage their daily tasks, but also to elevate their operations to new heights.

The 1-3-5 method provides a structured yet flexible approach to task prioritisation, catering to the unique demands of the trades and construction industry. By breaking down tasks into one big, three medium, and five small tasks, business owners can achieve a balanced and strategic daily workflow. 

By adopting this method, you equip yourself to navigate the intricacies of your industry with precision and purpose. Enhanced daily productivity is not just a goal; it’s the pathway to successful business scaling.

So, to all trades and construction business owners, try the 1-3-5 method and see if it will be your trusted companion on the journey to greater efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, the scalable success you envision for your business. 

Here’s to a future marked by streamlined operations, satisfied clients, and the steady growth of your enterprise!

Power to you this week,

Stefan Kazakis,

CEO & Founder, Business Benchmark Group