I’ve been thinking a lot about the number ‘six’ lately.
I’m not sure if that’s because of my love of hexagons (because they are the “bestagons”) or what, but the idea of grouping things in sixes is appealing to me. It’s more than a couple or a few – six sounds more like several and that makes me feel like I’m being plenty [reductive if I handle six significant tasks each day.
But six goes beyond the number of tasks I want to accomplish per day. It also really describes the number of tools I’ve assembled as integral parts of my productivity workflow. I call these tools The Significant Six – and while the way these tools present themselves might change over time (like my to do list, for example), these tools have been part of what’s kept me productive for years.
The Significant Six Explained
Here’s a video that showcases The Significant Six I’ve chosen to be part of my productivity workflow.
Each of these six tools on their own can help me with my productivity, but only when they combine forces can they take my productivity to greater heights. The todo list on its own isn’t enough to do that because it has limitations. Same with the calendar and email. All of them need to work together – even if they don’t always fit exactly as hoped – so that there’s less friction and more flow in my life.
Interestingly, my habit tracking tool manages to integrate other elements that might’ve made The Significant Six otherwise. I have meditation listed as a habit to maintain but a meditation practice could very easily have been included in the six. Same goes with focus apps that block distractions. But the six tools you choose to be part of your own Significant Six need to be instrumental in keeping you moving forward and in some cases the only way to whittle those elements down to the six is by integrating some into others.
The Daily Driver: A Three Dressed Up as A Six
For example, the free Daily Driver sheet that I offer (which you can get here) has space for habit tracking and journaling. But it’s not ideal for keeping a journal, just tracking that you are keeping one. It can, however, be used to track habits. That means it can be your to do list and your habit tracker.
Plus, the middle portion of the sheet can be used as a calendar for your day. Just place the time of day along the outer portion of the middle section and fill in your calendar events within the shape provided. Now you have the shape of your day – your calendar – on the same sheet of paper as your to do list and your habit tracker.
Essentially, The Daily Driver could be – and often is for me – the placeholder for 3 of the 6 elements of my Significant Six.
No One’s Significant Six is The Same
My six are going to be different than your six. We will either choose different elements or different platforms for those elements. There are plenty of apps out there for us to choose from… and some of us will stick to paper over apps six times out of seven. (See what I did there?)
The key is to make sure you have no more than six. If you need to wrap a couple of elements together – which The Daily Driver can do – then do that. But too many elements can put you in a position of dealing with overchoice. That kind of situation will keep you where you are for far longer than you want – and will stall your productivity.
Six is a good number. It’s easy to wrap your head around and doesn’t appear to be overwhelming. I think that it’s such a good number that you’ll be hearing more from me about “six” going forward. For now, it’s time for you to go forward and pick The Significant Six that is going to work for you.
Then you can deep six anything (and everything) else.