Coming back from an amazing week, I have 20+ action items swirling around
my brain. Some are personal improvements, some professional, all
So how do I tackle this? How do I jump into this list frantically and with
passion, but still be smart about it? How do I make sure dust doesn’t
collect and luster doesn’t fade on potential energy that needs my action?
I’ll tell you how… 3x5s, quick hits and dominos.
- 3×5 note cards
- Quick Hits
- Domino Decisions
First things first, get out your notes and a stack of 3×5 note cards.
(Yes, I’m aware there are fancier, higher tech ways to do this, but this
works incredibly well for me.) On each 3×5 note card, take a permanent
marker and write 1-3 key words on the front of the card, naming the idea
you’re taking action on. Then, on the back of that same card, take a pen
and allow yourself up to 3 sentences to explain the idea in more detail.
Next, take those notecards (sometimes 20, sometimes 50) and divide them up
into two piles. Pile one is quick hits. These are items that can be done
now; or at least this week. Think fast, think one small change, one tweak,
one minor improvement. But either you or someone on your team can crush
The second pile of note cards are longer term initiatives. Some can be
done this month, others this quarter and others this year or longer. Pile
one, quick hits. Pile two, long(er) term.
Then take that longer term pile and order them from top to bottom,
thinking about Domino Decisions. Which initiatives will have a reach into
others further down the pile? Which order should you stack these – to have
one action tip over the next, tipping over the next, tipping over the
Lastly, make just one pile of 3×5 note cards. Your quick hit list goes on
top, domino decisions on the bottom. Each item is now peeled off, one at a
time, and focused on until it’s nailed and engrained. Your one-at-a-time
focus makes 20 (or 50) tasks less daunting and more achievable. Don’t
think about the marathon, think about the next quarter mile. 105 quarter
miles later and you’re crossing the finish line.
The quick hits are done within the week, everyone sees immediate
improvements, and then we move onto the fun stuff; the long game.
Steal this the next time you’re flooded with ideas and overwhelmed with
where to go. It’s as easy as 3x5s, quick hits and dominos. Then grab me
with any improvements (as long as I get to keep my note cards).