Let’s start with Pareto. I see Pareto as the “80/20”guy. Statistics show that just about all groups –whatever kind – can be split into an 80/20 scenario.Why? 80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs. See if this makes sense: 80% of your business’ profits come from 20% of your clients/patients.
80% of your problems in life come from 20% of the things you’re involved with. 80% of your friends come from 20% of the available people you know.20% of this article will provide you with 80% of the improvements in your life when it comes to hitting your peak productivity.
The KEY here is finding the 20% or the 80% and taking action.
In my life, I’ve applied Pareto to virtually everything:family, friends, clients, businesses, employees, advertising/marketing and vendors. The top 20% get my attention. 80% of my problems coming from the bottom 20%, I get rid of. Of ten employees, 80% of my problems came from two of them. They demonstrated they were incapable of changing. So, their futures were freed up to find new opportunities.
80% of my daily frustrations/problems come from the thing that provides 20% of my income. So, I replaced the 20% with another, more time-friendly source and whacked where 80% of my problems were coming from.
Tim Ferriss says in his book, The Four-Hour Work Week, “Limit tasks to the important to shorten work time.” Think about that. It will take a while to really sink in. I still slowdown when I read or write that. (In a moment, you’ll see the inverse here, using Parkinson’s Law.)
Now, let’s talk about Parkinson and his law. Parkinson is the, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion,” guy.
So, taking and melding the two (Parkinson and Pareto) together you get the inverse as being true, “Shorten work time to limit tasks to the important.”
Just tonight, I had only 15 minutes to spend at my office while my oldest daughter was at basketball practice. I promised my wife I’d write her a “just listed” letter for a new real estate listing. In the effort of not having it drag on, I did it in about 12 minutes, and, I have to say, it was a darn good letter to boot. She didn’t even have any corrections and I know that thing will help get her listing sold.
Start with Pareto. Look hard at your life and the effects of 80/20. How does it affect you? How can you improve your life and productivity by evaluating and eliminating? It’s literally, addition by subtraction!
The above was excerpted and adapted from my latest book, Peak Productivity and Time Management; Getting more done than you ever though possible. It’s available at JJDBooks.com and Amazon.com.