By Marcia Francois
Have you heard about Vilfredo Pareto? Maybe, maybe not.
He was an Italian economist who came up with an absolutely brilliant concept called the Pareto Principle, or the 80-20 rule, as most of you will probably be familiar with.
Anyway, Pareto’s Principle states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.
The lovely thing is that this works with MANY, many examples:
* We wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time (try it out – you’ll see I’m right)
* We only ever look for 20% of papers ever filed (which is why I say don’t even file half the stuff you currently file)
* We make 80% of our money from 20% of our clients.
So, Timothy Ferriss. In case you’ve never heard of him, he’s the author of The Four-Hour Workweek, a book I strongly recommend you get.
He is also a big believer in the 80-20 rule and in fact, he recommends firing 80% of your clients, or at the very least, not actively pursuing them.
Back to time management…
If, on any given day, you have 10 tasks on your list, 2 of those will be BIG, IMPORTANT tasks that will produce HUGE results (I say 10 for mathematical ease because I’d prefer that you have no more than 5 or 6) and the rest is probably just “busy work”.
The key is to identify just which of those tasks will be the ones that lead to the HUGE results.
They are usually the tasks which lead to money directly or indirectly. Or, money now or money later.
The ULTIMATE aim is to simply stop doing the other 80% or to start delegating those tasks if they have to get done.
Let me give you another example. If you currently wash your own car and it takes you an hour, stop doing it. In South Africa, you can get a car wash for around R40 ($5) and if you’re reading this ezine, I know you earn more than that per hour, which means you should not be doing it.
If delegating is not an option, then do the important ones FIRST and then only continue to do the other tasks. (Stay tuned next week to read more about Eating the Frog).
This week your challenge is to identify your 20% every single day and to do those tasks first.
** Bonus – if you really want to step it up, do this challenge with your to-do list, and with your clothes.
Want to use this article in your ezine or on your blog? You may, as long as you include this complete blurb.
Marcia Francois is a time management and organising coach who empowers small business owners and other busy professionals who want to make the most of their time. You’ll get simple, practical organising and time management secrets to help you work less and enjoy life more!
Visit http://marciafrancois.com for your free Organising Success Pack.