In previous articles, I discussed how I dramatically increased my productivity by taking action first and correcting my mistakes as I went along. This was much better than formulating a perfect plan and hoping the universe would align in my favor. That being said, one of the other rules I like to incorporate into my productive lifestyle was the 80/20 rule. Also known as the Pareto principle, or law of the vital few. This suggest that 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the causes. It was named after economist Vilfredo Pareto when he pointed out that 80 percent of Italy was owned by 20 percent of the population. He also said that it could even be found in nature when 20 percent of the pea pods contained 80 percent of the peas.
In my personal life, I have found that most of my productivity is linked to certain actions. For example, I am not the greatest at cold calling but I love talking to people in person. Instead of spending a large majority of my time wasted on something I am not good at, I task one of my amazing virtual assistants to take on the task. Leaving me to spend more time chasing leads in person, and talking to executives. Since I became aware of the 80/20 principle. I started cutting the things out of my life I was wasting too much time on. For the things that brought me the most results, I would capitalize my time more so on that.
For things that I'm not good at or knowledgable, I quickly outsource or ask an educated opinion in order to make a more informed decision. I find it better in most cases, to commit to making the most informed decision first and then adjusting my decision based on action. I highlight the activities that bring me the most customers or results and focus a majority of my efforts on those. My results have been incredible.
How many of you spend hours trying to make a decision? How much would you say your personal time is worth? If your like me, my time is worth a lot. Past habits had me spend hours debating on how much I would spend on particular clothes, furniture, website, business project, etc. I wasted hours conducting research so I could make the most informed decision. With the use of VA's (virtual assistants) and this principle, I get more of my day back to spend with family and friends. I have more time to dedicate to the part of my business I shine at. Allowing me to network and deliver the markets best possible service to my clients.
As a challenge, see what you spend spend too much of your time on. Is there a way you can come to faster decisions, and maybe correct later if you don't like the results? What few things in your life is bringing you the most results? If you run your own business, what are those few couple things in the day that brings you the most results? How can you do MORE of that? I guarantee you will see your results go way up when you start cutting the fat and doing more of these activities. Most of us do a few things productive at work, then fill the rest of the time with so called "busy work", when in all reality we should be capitalizing on those couple things that actually achieve results. For most that work an 8 hour work day, I'm willing to bet there are just a couple of hours achieving results.
There are a ton of books on the 80/20 principle. The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch would be a good place to start and there is a audible variant for those like myself that like audio books. Lately, I have incorporated the same rule to my audible learning experience. Summaries of these self improvement, business, etc books are available for at most two or three dollars on Audible for a listening average of 30 minutes or so. I'll pick up 10 of these summaries for $20 to $30 dollars and get the main points of several of these books in a day. Talk about productivity. For the summaries and books I really find interesting, I'll purchase the whole book. If I don't like the principles in the summary, then I'm only out a couple of dollars. Not much liability there. However, I can pull something positive out of even a terrible book. I challenge you to do the same. Dare to be different.