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The 80/20 rule is also known as the Pareto Principle. The concept originated with Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. He noticed that 80% of the country’s land was owned by just 20 % of the population. This led Pareto to examine this imbalance further and how it related to other areas.
80% of sales volume comes from 20% of products in the product line.
80% of a company’s revenue comes from 20% of its customers.
80% of a company’s production comes from 20% of its employees.
Time management is the most common use for the Pareto principle, as most people tend to waste their time on things that don’t matter instead of focusing on the most important tasks.
With all of this in mind, relating the principle to time management means that 80% of your output could come from just 20% of your time.
Time management is really life management means really taking control over the sequence of events. Time management is control over what you do next. And you are always free to choose the task that you will do next. Your ability to choose between the important and the unimportant is the key determinant of your success in life and work.
Effective, productive people discipline themselves to start on the most important task that is before them. They force themselves to eat that frog, whatever it is. As a result, they accomplish vastly more than the average person and are much happier as a result. This should be your way of working as well.
Make a list of all the key goals, activities, projects and responsibilities in your life today. Which of them is, or could be, in the top 10% or 20% of tasks that represent, or could represent, 80% or 90% of your results?
Small-business owners waste their time on what we call $10 an hour work, like running to get office supplies. Meanwhile, they forgo the activities that earn $1,000 an hour, such as sending the right email to the right person, or negotiating a lucrative contract, or convincing a client to do more business with you.
Entrepreneurs don’t realize the same 80/20 principle that 20% of customers equal 80% of sales which applies to every dimension of business. And that includes time management.
HOW TO STOP WASTING TIME ON SMALL THINGS?
Hire a maid: If you have a significant other, he or she will thank you. It is easy to find someone who knows how to cook. Easy to find people who know how to clean. They will love you for paying them $10 to $13 an hour to do those jobs. Somebody’s praying for that job now.
As a go-getter, your core entrepreneurial skills can earn you hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. So there’s no reason why you should be scrubbing your own toilets. In fact, I argue that it is your moral obligation to hire someone to do so.
Get rid of your $10 an hour stuff: Let’s assume you are no longer wasting time vacuuming your own carpets or listening to your own voicemails. You are still hurting yourself if you are obsessed with being “efficient.” That is not an 80/20 approach to time. Instead, ask: “What else am I doing that is so menial, it could be cheaply outsourced? What am I doing that I should stop doing altogether?”
Hire a personal assistant: With some effort, you can hire a perfectly competent person at $8 to $15 per hour and they’ll be happy because it is more interesting work than flipping burgers. With this, you will have a professional help to look into your schedule making appointments and helping you to make your timetable for all the important meetings and dinners.
Don’t feel guilty about relaxing: The most productive people are a little lazy your body and mind do need rest once in a while and it is essential to unwind and reconnect with your family and get to know what your friends are You can’t be a great strategist when you’re hustling from morning ’til night. Feed your brain instead, so you’re sharp when you’re negotiating the next sales contract.
Focus on your most productive time slot: Everybody has a timeslot in their day when they do their finest work. Ernest Hemingway wrote first thing in the morning. Barack Obama is a night owl. (He reportedly even outsources decisions on what to eat and wear.)hence work in the time and environment that suits you best as it will help you to be more productive and more active in decision making.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR TIME?
Evaluate your task: If 80% of results come from 20% of effort, then it stands to reason that 80% of impact will come from 20% of your tasks. To identify the 20% of your tasks that will yield the 80% of results you seek.
When reviewing your tasks, ask yourself these questions:
Is every task on my list labeled as urgent?
Are the tasks on my list within my purview or do they belong elsewhere?
Am I spending too much time on certain types of tasks?
Are there tasks that I should delegate?
Are all of these tasks really necessary for the overall outcome?
Continuously assess your goals: Your goals and tasks may be intertwined, but not always. Some might be completely separate. So think about your goals and the activities needed to accomplish them. Remember that 80% of those goals will be achieved with just 20 % of the necessary activities.
Here again, take an inventory and see which 20% of activities gets you closer to the majority of your objectives. Check out these few examples and see if you can relate:
If I work late today (20% activity), I can finish the item on my task list, make the boss happy, AND take tomorrow off (80% goals).
If I make a salad to eat at my desk for lunch today (20% activity), I can work on that task, beat the deadline, AND get closer to my weight loss goal (80% goals).
If I schedule regular meetings (20 %activity), I can increase team communication, have a more successful project, AND be a better leader (80% goals).
Determine your prime time: Everyone has specific times during the day when they are the most productive. You may do your best work between 9 AM and 11 AM. Or you might get more done between 3 PM and 5 PM. When do you feel the most energetic, focused, and productive?
Determine when your prime time is and use it to tackle the 20 %of the tasks and goals that you have identified. This will ensure that you are spending your most productive time of day on the tasks and activities needed for the best results.
Eliminate distraction: Whether you travel to the office each day or work from home, distractions are everywhere. Those nasty, little interruptions can cause loss of focus, delayed tasks, and an overall reduction in your productivity.
80 %of your distractions came from 20% of sources.To take on those distractions and eliminate them, you must first identify them. Your list may look something like this:
Flurries of emails
Incoming phone calls
Thirst or hunger
Social media notifications
After you have your list of distractions, review it and see which ones interrupt you the most. You will likely find that only two or three (20%) are the bulk (80%) of the problem.
Then incorporate ways to eliminate those interruptions. Here are some suggestions: