Everybody has their own "success secrets" that they'll swear by. Whether it's eating Wheaties in the morning or something even weirder (Mark Zuckerberg says he wears the same grey shirt everyday so he can focus on running Facebook), people are always free with their weird habits they think makes them successful.
Sometimes though, someone will have a tip that actually works. The 1-3-5 rule is just such a tip and you'll be a lot better off following it than you will be by stocking up on grey shirts.
Betty Liu is the executive vice chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. Every day she's making decisions that not only affect people's wealth and futures, but also the country's. She didn't get to her position of power just by being lucky, she knows how to get things done.
She told BusinessInsider that since January 1 she's been using the 1-3-5 rule to stay organized. It's worked in a big way.
Okay so what is the 1-3-5 rule?
Liu's productivity hack is simple: write down 9 things that you want to accomplish each day. Make one of them a big task, three of them a medium task and five of them small tasks.
"Just the act of writing something down makes you obligated to do it," she said. "When you have the satisfaction at the end of the day of checking off that last item on that list, you feel so much better, as if you really completed the day."
She said that when you can fully complete a list you don't carry around the guilt of leaving something undone. That means you enjoy your down time more.
Liu also said it's okay to bump something from today's list to tomorrow, but if you do try to make it a small one.
"If I can tackle the big thing, I feel like I'm halfway there," she said.
Studies show that making a to-do list does help people accomplish things, it doesn't even matter what's on the list. So even if your small thing is getting dressed this morning, put it on your list and start thinking about eight other things you want to do.