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The 20% Factor in Managing Your Time
80% of Our To-Do Lists Produce 20% of Results
The 80/20 Rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, also known as the Rule of the Vital Few, states that there is an imbalance between causes and results, between effort and reward. The world is not a 50/50 proposition where effort and reward are equally related. Instead:
- The majority of what we do each day has little impact.
- A minority has a major impact.
If 80% of your ToDo lists collectively produce only 20% of your results,
What should you do? Plan to schedule the 20% on your calendar and make appointments with yourself to get them done.
80% of your work can be done in 20% of your work day when you are focused and uninterrupted.
What should you do? Block off 20% (96 minutes) of an 8-hour workday to concentrate on your priority projects. What tasks will have the most impact for the company or will contribute to reaching your goals?
80% of interruptions can be eliminated. The other 20% can be shortened or controlled.
What should you do? Practice grouping similar activities, such as phone calls, email, and filing, so that you do not bounce from one kind of action to another type where you interrupt yourself. Create “Discuss with…” folders for others in your main group to limit the number of times you interrupt others and they interrupt you.
80% of what you file is not looked at again.
What should you do? Be selective in what you choose to keep. Ask yourself:
- Is it current?
- Does it pertain to my sphere of work?
- Does it have any legal or financial implications?
- When would I use this again?
80% of profits come from 20% of clients.
What should you do? Do not treat every client as equal. It is sometimes necessary to “fire” clients when they consume too much of your time for the percentage of your earnings that they represent.
We wear the same 20% of our clothes 80% of the time.
What should you do? Declutter not just your closet but all of the spaces around you. Clutter is:
- Distracting because it diffuses your focus
- Time consuming if you have to hunt for an item
- Expensive as you end up with duplicates or waste time
- Stressful when you are coping with too much
If you often feel buffeted by conflicting demands or overwhelmed by the number of tasks facing you, look for the 20% that will make the difference. As one of the 20% of successful, creative individuals, you will be producing valuable results and can reap the appropriate rewards. This puts you in control of your life, both for business and personal endeavors.
If you would like to jumpstart your organizing efforts and add to your time management skills, we can help!
On Your Own: books and CDs to work at your own pace