Rule of Three: Your Secret to an Efficient (& Stylish) Home Office

Rule of Three: Your Secret to an Efficient (& Stylish) Home Office

written by

Sam Driver


When it comes to a productive, stylish, and efficient home office, there’s a secret weapon. It’s been under our noses for centuries – the “Rule of Three.”

Used by masters of speech like Julius Caesar and Abraham Lincoln. Literary giants like William Shakespeare and Lewis Carroll also favored it. The “Rule of Three” is your key to potential greatness.

Let’s walk you through what it is, why you should use it, and how to implement the rule in your remote workspace.


Let’s begin.

What is the Rule of Three?

1,2,3 sign

The “Rule of Three,” is a potent principle in public speaking and writing. But it permeates far beyond that. It’s a pattern that our brains are naturally drawn to.

It provides a rhythm, a structure, a cadence that makes ideas stick. It’s the magic number in fairy tales. A key principle in design. A potent tool in persuasive writing.

Let’s take a closer look at some powerful examples…

In public speaking, the Rule of Three makes speeches memorable and impactful. Have you heard Julius Caesar’s “Veni, Vidi, Vici” (I came, I saw, I conquered)?

Or Thomas Jefferson’s life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness in the United States Declaration of Independence?

What about Abraham Lincoln’s government of the people, by the people, for the people in his Gettysburg Address?

The Rule of Three helped each of these statements become memorable and influential.

In the literary world, William Shakespeare was a great fan of the Rule of Three. His play ‘Julius Caesar‘ has the famous line, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.” The rhythm and balance of the three-fold sentence make it one of the most famous lines in English literature.

Lewis Carroll also used it in ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ When the King instructs the jury, “Consider your verdict,” he said to the jury, “in—three minutes.”

You see the Rule of Three in comedy as well. It’s used in the setup of jokes. The first two items set a pattern. The third breaks it, often with a punchline.

For instance, “I have three kinds of friends — wealthy, kind, and imaginary.”

This principle doesn’t stop with words and speeches. It’s deeply ingrained in our culture and daily lives. Think about traffic lights (red, amber, green), sizes of clothes (small, medium, large), and even meals of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner).

From the Holy Trinity in Christian theology to the triads in music. The Rule of Three is indeed all around us. It provides rhythm, order, and harmony.

Now, let’s explore the immense value this principle can bring to your home office design. Think about the benefits of having a workspace designed with a principle that’s naturally appealing to the human mind.

You’ll not only have an office that’s aesthetically pleasing. You’ll also have one that feels inherently right, boosting your comfort, satisfaction, and productivity.

And who doesn’t want that?

Applying the Rule of Thirds to Your Home Office

office design

First, consider the spatial layout of your office. The rule of thirds in visual composition suggests that any space or image can be divided into nine equal parts. Two equally-spaced horizontal and two equally-spaced vertical lines do this.

The theory proposes that placing points of interest along these lines or their intersections leads to a more balanced, less formal, and more interesting composition.

Try visualizing these lines in your home office.

Your desk, the heart of productivity, might sit at one intersection. It draws your attention and serves as your primary workspace. A comfortable chair for reading or brainstorming could be situated along another line.

Perhaps a stylish lamp or plant resides at an intersecting point. It adds a touch of personality and warmth.

For example, take a peek at the offices of successful entrepreneurs featured in magazines like Forbes. More often than not, their offices, whether in New York or Silicon Valley, adhere to the rule of thirds. Their desks aren’t smack in the middle of the room.

They’re offset. Creating dynamic negative space that’s both visually engaging and energizing.

Power of Three in Home Office Elements

three office items

Translating the rule of three into tangible elements within your home office can be both fun and rewarding.

Creating triads of objects or furniture not only adds visual interest but also taps into a rhythm and balance that our brains find naturally pleasing.

Consider a trio of plants on your windowsill. They contribute to your office’s aesthetic and improve air quality. You might also group three books that inspire you on your desk. Or arrange a triad of decorative items or office gadgets on a shelf.

These could represent different facets of your work or personal interests. They infuse your workspace with a sense of individuality and creativity.

And it’s not just about physical objects. Think about color too.

Interior designers often use the rule of three to create color schemes. One color for the walls. Another for the furniture. A third for accessories.

This can create a cohesive and stylish look. It ties the whole room together.

The Rule of Three in Office Organization

wall art and wall lights

Organizing your office tasks and materials according to the rule of three can significantly enhance your productivity. The magic of three can transform how you approach your daily tasks, making you more efficient and less stressed.

Divide your tasks into three categories: those that need immediate attention, those that can be done later in the day, and those that can be pushed to the next day. This allows you to prioritize effectively. Ensuring you’re always focused on the tasks that matter most.

And remember, it’s about managing your priorities, not just your time.

When it comes to your desk, consider grouping objects into threes. For example, you could have one drawer for current projects. Another for supplies. A third for archives.

Even your digital workspace can follow this rule. Arrange your computer desktop icons into three main groups. Or maintain three main folders for your digital files.

Through implementing the rule of three in these various ways, you’ll not only have an efficient and stylish home office. You’ll also have an inherent sense of satisfaction and balance in your workspace.

And who knows?

You might just find yourself enjoying work a bit more in an office that is so thoughtfully designed!

Harnessing the Rule of Three for Your Dream Home Office

We get it.

It feels like there’s a mountain of design decisions and organizational challenges standing between you and your ideal workspace.

But remember this, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

With the Rule of Three, you’re closer than you think to an efficient and stylish home office. This handy principle doesn’t just streamline your design choices. It also maximizes your workspace’s potential.

So, chin up! It’s time to embrace this secret weapon. Transform your office into a powerhouse of productivity and style.

Now, go get ’em, tiger!

Photo of author
Sam is a family man who loves to write. When he’s not goofing around with his kids, he’s honing his skills to provide lasting value to anyone who cares to listen.

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