Rule of Three

Lean Creativity Edition

Yael Raden
January 28, 2021
4 min read

Rule of Three

Do a Google search for “The Rule of Three”...

Tell me what are your results?

Google suggested to me 10+ searches that said The Rule of Three … is used to build statistical systems, a rule of thumb in computer language, determines blood CBC results correct, a colonial math shorthand used for multiplication, a rule in aviation, for every 3 nautical miles of travel an airplane should be allowed for every 1000 ft, is a spiritual principle of energies in some religions, is used in business; every industry in the free market had three major competitors. A rule of writing that a trio of events or characters is more humorous and satisfying to the audience, and the most vital interesting fact I learned during this google search feat...The Rule of Three is a measurement of physical survival; the body can survive 3 minutes without breathable air, 3 hours in extreme environments, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food, and three months without hope.

So why am I telling you all of this?

Because there is something positive about incorporating the rule of three into your lifestyle to become a more productive self and here is how I suggest we look at it.


2 vs 3 vs 5

Let’s first talk about the number three, if the stats above didn’t inspire you let’s just think of it ourselves. It is easier to remember 3 things more than 5 and it is also easier to focus on 3 things vs 5. And if you only have two things then you are up against two things there is a pressure between this one or that one, and three is a good balance for choices, practices, and goals.

3 Big Wins

At a humble yet powerful choice of 3, you need to make those three count. You need three things you can achieve. Choose three attainable yet challenging goals to accomplish in a certain amount of time (it is best for you to decide that). You can choose specific lifestyle goals, work goals or overall productivity goals. These three are your focus and they will become three victories.

3 is how it is done

Now that we want to win, everything we do needs to become intentional. When a project hits a bump in the road to production, when a pandemic hits, or when a surprise comes our way we can overcome it because we direct our choices and our reactions based on the three wins that we want. We will have a better understanding and control as chaos hits because we have made it clear and effective to what we need to accomplish.


Begin with 3

Now it’s time to get in action. It will take some time to learn your best way of incorporating the rule of three into your life, but you can start simple by choosing 3 wins for a morning. You will accomplish many other tasks while pursuing those three but this will help you learn how you focus on them. At the end of the morning when you're victorious, focus on those three wins and measurably celebrate. After this continue to learn more about your habits and to gain an understanding of how long it takes you to accomplish different goals. As you build upon your own meaning of the rule of three, you begin incorporating the way it works for you. Pay attention to your results and continue to adjust your estimates when you start the Rule of Three again.

Every discipline is different yet many of them use the Rule of Three to convey an important lesson. Every person is different indeed, but we can all learn how to define our Rule of Three and give it meaning and practice to become our better selves.

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