Time Management Central
80 20 Rule
The 80 20 rule is the most useful time management technique according to my clients and readers. It is also the principle that most people know, but do not implement. The 80-20 rule is simple to initially understand, yet very difficult to implement. Maybe you can relate a little to this story.
Nick was rushing to a very important appointment in the city! This deal could take the company to the next level! Nick was stressed about getting there on time, but he still left later than he wanted to. He was hurriedly looking for a car park.
Finally he parked and rushed off to the appointment. He got to the foyer to find the lift was being serviced - his meeting was on the 5th floor. That didn't stop Nick - he headed straight for the stairs. Up he went, fast at first, then slower, but always moving. Finally he gets to the 5th floor, rushes to reception (only a minute or 2 late) and says "I have an appointment with Michael Erwin."
The receptionist looks at Nick and says "I'm sorry there is no Michael Erwin here". Nick steps back and looks around. "Is this Time Management Central?" he asks? "No. I'm sorry" she replies "they are in the building next door!"
Nick was "active" during the whole process of getting to the wrong office! He was not applying the 80 20 rule
The 80 20 rule says that 20% of the tasks you do result in 80% of the impact or progress to your goal. When you mistake activity for achievement you are wasting time in the 80% of task that contribute less than 20% to the outcome.
We regularly find many people in our programs (and many others who probably should be in the programs) are busy being busy. They are rushing up the stairs, but they are not sure if they are in the right building.
To create more time you MUST be able to recognize that doing things is not the same as achieving things. You need to be able to really apply the 80 20 rule and know what tasks fit in to the 20% that get you 80% to your target. This requires that you regularly STOP your activity and make sure you are focusing on achievement, not just being busy.
Achievement and effectiveness are about doing things that move you toward your most important goals. Doing whatever is in front of you is easy compared to doing what creates real progress.
Today you are asked to more in less time, often with less resource. This makes it much easier to mistake activity for achievement. Yet, in these circumstances, is it even more important to achieve progress - not just be busy.
This week start to use the 80 20 rule by doing an effectiveness audit. Each morning and each evening take 3 minutes to reflect on the activities you did today. Rate them from -5 to +5 (+5 = major advancement to achieving your goal; -5 = major movement away from your goal; 0 = no movement either way.) If you have read the 7 steps to create and extra hour a day, you will have defined what you really want in life and business, so it will be easy to determine whether you are moving towards or away from your goals. What will your NET SCORE will be? Remember this is not about activity or effort, it's about progress and achievement. Nick was working very hard, but moving away from his desired destination! (effectiveness audit score -4)
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