Christopher Regnier

The Top 'Er Off Rule

The Top 'er Off rule

February 27, 2024

Read time: 2 minutes

About the Newsletter

The brotherhood receives a weekly system you can apply TODAY to start living a life of significance.

Do what’s necessary to do what matters. 

Income needs to come in, chores need to be done = some undesirable but necessary parts of life. 

My wife wants to connect, my daughters want to play = some very desirable and also necessary parts of life, parts that matter.  

Two Ways to do what matters

There are two ways to free your time to do more of what matters:

  1. Productivity = getting more done in a given amount of time. 
  2. Intentionality = having less to-do overall. 

Both will give you time back to focus on what truly matters. 

Productivity can be a good thing.  Be efficient, focus, get a lot of stuff done in a given time.  I’m all for it! 

But it can lead to the undesirable outcome of busyness, so focused on getting more & more done that we overlook whether something needs to be done in the first place.

The Top 'Er Off Rule

To combat the excessive busyness that often comes with productivity, I developed the Top ‘Er Off Rule: 

Don’t do something Today if you can do it Tomorrow. 

I know that sounds like procrastinating, so let me explain: 

For some recurring tasks in your life, don’t always be “topping ‘er off”.  Instead, let the task get near empty before dedicating time & energy to it. 

A couple examples:

Your gas Tank

Let’s say you can go a week on a full tank of gas. 

You have two options when it comes to refueling: 

  1. Stop every day on the way home from work to top ‘er off. 
  2. Stop every Friday after your work week is over & fill it up completely. 

Productivity begs you to develop the most efficient way to stop for gas: the nearest gas station, the fastest pump, the proper way to pump while washing your windows to save the most time. 

Intentionality asks you to avoid 6 days of stopping altogether.  You can make it a full week on a tank of gas = stop once per week. 

Less to do > getting more done.

Our Horses' Water

Another example is our horses’ water trough. 

We have two horses here on the ranch currently, Ace & Annie.  They have a big, 100-125 gallon water trough to keep them hydrated throughout the winter.  It lasts them 5-7 days on average. 

Again, I have two options for refilling their water: 

  1. Pour in a bucket or two every morning to top ‘er off. 
  2. Take a few minutes to fill the tank all the way up every 5-7 days. 

Hint: I choose option #2. 

Less to do > getting more done.

Net Net

Recurring tasks disrupt my schedule. 

They need to be done (I need fuel in my car & our horses need to drink), but I’d rather be present to my wife & girls. 

So I don’t top ‘er off.  I don’t do Today what can be done Tomorrow. 

Your productivity friends may say you’re procrastinating, but now you now: 

Less to do > getting more done.

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