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The 1-3-5 Rule, Finding Growth, and Embracing Disciplineby@scottdclary
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The 1-3-5 Rule, Finding Growth, and Embracing Discipline

by Scott D. ClaryOctober 10th, 2023
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Explore the 1-3-5 Rule for productivity, find growth through challenging perspectives, and embrace discipline over motivation.
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What’s in today’s newsletter?


  • Idea: The 1-3-5 Rule
  • Question: Who Brings Out the Best in You?
  • Quote: Discipline > Motivation
  • Podcast: Stephen Petasky, Ben Meng, Mike Baker
  • Article: The Most Powerful Morning Routine

Idea: The 1-3-5 Rule

Ever crossed off 20 items from a to-do list and still felt unaccomplished?

Enter the 1-3-5 Rule, a framework originally conceived in Silicon Valley to combat the 'busy' trap.


One big task. This is the mammoth. It's daunting. It’s significant. But it's pivotal.

Dedicating focus to that ONE task first means you're prioritizing impact over activity.

For instance, if you're a content creator, this could be creating the core content for your next campaign.


Then there's the THREE. Your sub-projects. Supportive, but not overshadowing the main task. For a marketer, these might include analyzing recent campaign metrics, tweaking the upcoming content calendar, and reaching out to potential collaborators.


Not as mammoth as the big task, but they create the broader context for it.


Next, the FIVE. Think of them as your task garnish. Smaller chores that are easier to accomplish but essential in the grand scheme of things. Replying to emails, scheduling a team check-in, ordering supplies, or even clearing up your workspace.


While they might seem minuscule, they ensure the smoother flow of larger tasks.

In the noisy echo chambers of productivity, the common refrain is to do more.


But Silicon Valley's 1-3-5 Rule takes a stand: Do what matters.


Remember the wise words of Peter Drucker: "There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all."


In applying the 1-3-5 framework,


  • First, list down everything you aim to accomplish.
  • Segregate them: Which is the behemoth task? What are the supportive three? What minor five can you sprinkle throughout the day?
  • Start with the big one. It not only creates momentum but also gives a clear direction.


This isn't about merely 'being busy.’


It's about effective allocation, understanding the hierarchy of tasks, and setting a clear action path for the day.


So, next time you find yourself drowning in tasks, think Silicon Valley. Think 1-3-5.


Because in the world of endless to-dos, it's not about how much you tick off, but what you tick off that truly moves the needle.


Question: Who Brings Out the Best in You?

Blindspots exist in boardrooms and bedrooms. Who points them out for you?


You can get nods at the office. And hugs at home.


But who gives you the hard truths in both?


It's easy to be in an echo chamber, Be it among colleagues or family. But the growth?


It's in the dissonance where you really grow.


Challenge isn't opposition. It's an opportunity.


So, as you navigate work and home, ask:


Who’s my business challenger? Who’s my personal compass?


Quote: Discipline > Motivation

When you're lacking motivation, remind yourself: discipline now, freedom later. The labor will pass, and the rewards will last.” - Ryan Holiday.


Motivation comes and goes. Discipline gets the job done.


  • Motivation is an emotion. It fluctuates with moods and energy.
  • Discipline is a skill. It keeps you focused despite distractions.


Cultivate discipline through habits. Progress will follow.


Podcast: Stephen Petasky, Ben Meng, Mike Baker

1. Stephen Petasky, CEO of Luxus Group


| Spotify | Apple


Stephen Petasky is the CEO and founder of the Luxus Group, a company that specializes in developing, managing, and servicing resort residential and hospitality real estate assets. He has owned and managed over 50 luxury properties and hospitality assets with a value of over $100M in 6 different countries. He has also serviced more than 20,000 client vacations to these properties, making him one of the most experienced and successful entrepreneurs in the industry.


2. Ben Men, CEO of iGas USA


| Spotify | Apple


From humble beginnings in Yangzhou, China, as a farmer's son to becoming the CEO of iGas USA, Ben Meng's journey epitomizes the classic rags-to-riches tale. His relentless endeavor catapulted iGas to secure 25% of the US refrigerant market by 2020, standing second only to Honeywell and marking Meng's ascent to a self-made billionaire.


3. Mike Baker, Former CIA Officer


| Spotify | Apple


Mike Baker is a former CIA covert field operations officer with a distinguished 17-year career specializing in counterterrorism, counternarcotics, and counterinsurgency operations. His expertise took him around the globe, where he engaged in, organized, and supervised operations across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the former Soviet Union, and other undisclosed locations.


Article: The Most Powerful Morning Routine

A realistic, science-based, customizable, and aggressively self-tested morning system.

Read it here.


Two years of Reddit rabbit holes and over 20 experimental routines later, this is the routine to end all routines.


No platitudes.


No pseudo-science.


Just concrete, evidence-backed practices.


Also published here.