The Discovery

Some people like to wake up in the morning and check things off their list.

I like to wake up slowly, sip something warm, and quietly enter the new day.

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Some people love powering through projects.

I would rather read a friend’s doctoral dissertation than take on organizing a closet.

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Some people can stay focused on their goal and get it done.

I tend to get distracted by sentimental stuff…

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Three years ago, I found myself as a mother of three kids four and under.  As if all of a sudden, our household required 21 meals a week for 5 people and the organization of a million pieces of clothes—and all of this on very little continuous sleep.  There was nap time, play time, and tummy time—but very little me time.

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I was in over my head.

It was in this context that I wanted to organize our garage.  I wanted to be able to walk in my garage and set my hand on a spring season 6-9 month dress when I needed it.  This time, instead of plunging straight into the task, I was going to try something new.  I had a hunch it would work, and I was getting excited.

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This time, instead of diving in, I sat down and began to draw.  I drew what I wanted to see when I was done.   I created a simple sketch inside the box with shelving and clear plastic bins labeled with the correct items inside.

By the end of the day, I took a picture of my completed project.  It looked exactly like my sketch!  The many inputs that normally would have pulled me off task—didn’t.  It felt as though I had a shield around me off which the fiery darts of distraction bounced.

I had never experienced this before.

I immediately went to my freezer and tried it there.  Success.

Closets.  Success.

Schedule.  Success.

Finances.  Success.

Relationships.  Success.

It seemed I was accessing a part of my mind that I had never been introduced to before.

And, it turns out, that’s exactly what was happening.

I spent the next three years learning more and more about this powerful process.  What I had stumbled upon was a combination technique.  It turns out that this technique we now call The Envision Box was linking a powerful principle, a simple strategy, and a motivation and focus enhancing method—all in one.  The principle I was using was to “Begin with the end.”  The strategy was “Visualization.”  The method was “Drawing.”

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Begin with the End.

When you Begin with the End, you begin, not with the beginning, but with the ending.  You clearly define where you are going and then work back from there—making steps to it from where you are.  Just as you would never go on a trip without clearly marking the destination and mapping out the journey, we should never start an important project—or even a day—without beginning with the end.

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Visualization

Visualization is creating a clear picture in your mind.  When you link this with beginning with the end, you use this process to clearly see and feel the end that you desire.  You visualize as viscerally as possible what your completed goal will be like.  Engage as many of your senses in this process as you can.

The data on visualization is unquestionable.  Olympic athletes are trained to use this method to visualize their performance at the games and top executives routinely visualize their days each morning.

The secret about visualization is that when your brain sees and feels something this clearly, your subconscious moves toward it—even when you are not “thinking” about it.  This is why the fiery darts of distraction bounce off.  Your whole being is moving toward something very specific, and when other inputs enter your mind, you know deep down that they are not part of the story you have written in your mind…and the distractions literally melt away.

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Drawing

Nearly all Productivity Systems for decades have utilized the strategy of writing down your goals with words only.  This process is good and has helped many to achieve their goals.

However, we now know this method is no longer the best.

What if I told you that you could improve on this time-tested process by tweaking the way you write your desires down?

What if I suggested that you draw it clearly before you write it?

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Drawing does special stuff in the brain, to calm us down, to motivate us, and to focus us.  And, in our highly distracting, over-stressed world, this is exactly what you need to give you the edge.

The Envision Box is considered the Keystone Tool of Think Time.  Its power cannot be overstated.  It really is so powerful that it can turn an entire week around in only a few minutes of uninterrupted focus.  It can be used across all areas of life.

 

I still do not consider myself necessarily organized or efficient…yet.  I still prefer a latte to a ledger.  But, I am getting the right things done with improved focus and motivation like never before.  After continuing to test this method and confirming its continuous delivery of results, I felt it was a stewardship to share this discovery with you.

 

And, this is Think Time.

 

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We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.

We have created an innovative process to help people clarify their vision and move it into their lives so they can focus on what matters most.

This is Think Time.

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Tweetable Highlights:

I tend to get distracted.  @thinktimetweets

Create a clear picture in your mind.  @thinktimetweets

Clearly define where you are going and then work back from there. @thinktimetweets

Draw it before you write it. #thinktime @taketimetothinktime

Drawing does special stuff in the brain, to calm us down, to motivate us, and to focus us. #drawit #thinktime

The Envision Box can turn an entire week around in only a few minutes of uninterrupted focus.  #envisionbox

I am getting the right things done with improved focus and motivation like never before. #thinktime

 

 

 

 

The 80/20 Rule

One question I get often is, “Can you explain the 80/20 Rule?”

At Think Time, as we help people focus on what matters most, we use the 80/20 rule in all of our systems.

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The one thing I can say about the 80/20 Rule is that when you get it…you GET it.  And, you will never go back.

There is an interesting history behind it, but the Big Idea is that it teaches us to look at activities—not for how much effort we put into them, but for the results that flow from them.  Do they move the needle toward our goals?

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We can work really hard at something that doesn’t return a lot of results.  We can also strategically place small, targeted efforts toward something that yields enormous results.

This is the tip that helps us to stop spinning our wheels and start making traction.

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Why is it named “The 80/20 Rule?”  The rule derives its name from the discovery that in life about 20% of our activities generate 80% of our results.  The converse is also true.  About 80% of our activities yield only 20% of our results.

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The 80/20 Rule is regularly used in business training to boost profits and skyrocket results.  For instance, salespeople regularly use this rule to close more deals.  If about 80% of sales come from 20% of the customers, then calling the list in alphabetical order from top to bottom will not be as fruitful as taking a moment to identify the high yielding 20% and to contact them first.  Less effort yields more results with the 80/20 Rule.

At Think Time, we are big on results—not only professional results but also personal and relational results.  So, we apply the 80/20 Rule to everything from creating agendas and budgets at work to household responsibilities and even our relationships.

Following are some examples of how the 80/20 Rule may integrate with your daily life.  A 20% activity is an activity that yields HIGH RESULTS.  An 80% activity yields LOW RESULTS–no matter how much effort you exert.

Here we go!

A 20% activity could be taking  a few minutes at the beginning of the day to identify your key priorities and to purge potential obstacles to accomplishing them.  Top performers do this every day because it yields such great results.  This move changes every action following it.

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An 80% activity could be trying to complete “everything” on your list.  Remember that all of your activities are not high-yielding and often “good” activities steal time from the best.

A 20% activity could be having a clear agenda created and floating it by everyone before a meeting.  This simple step maximizes the minutes during the meeting, prevents running over due to sloppy discussions, and prevents countless add-on e-mail interchanges after the meeting.

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An 80% activity may be always saying “yes” when someone stops by your desk to say, “Gotta minute?”

At home, a 20% activity could be training your toddlers to clean up.  You are not only getting the toys cleaned, but you are building a sense of responsibility into a citizen of the world.

An 80% activity could be picking up your four year old’s toys again and again and again.  You are exhausted.  They feel good while their character worsens.  Their future co-workers will wish you had required them to pick up after themselves.  And, as a cherry on top, you will get to do it all over again tomorrow.

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An 80% is telling your kids to be kind to each other—unkindly.   

A 20% activity is modeling kindness in tone and action while teaching.  

If your spouse’s love language is “words of affirmation,” it may be an 80% to clean the dishes to show them you love them.  In this instance, a 20% activity may be instead writing a specific, heartfelt compliment.  

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My final example will be a counselor joke:

“How many counselors does it take to change a lightbulb?”

“Just one – but the light bulb has to really want to change.”

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Trying to help someone who does not want to change is an 80%.  Targeting my effort to invest in someone who is wanting to grow: 20%.

By using the 80/20 Rule as part of deciding what goes onto your calendar, you will never have to wonder if you are focusing on the most important thing again. 

Add the 80/20 Rule to your daily decisions and transform your life.

Does this help?

Please comment below and let me know!

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Christine Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder Think Time

 

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We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people clarify their vision so they can live their lives focused on what matters most.  

Shop Think Time today!

Blog Highlights:

Look at activities—not for how much effort we put into them, but for the results that flow from them.

Do my activities move the needle toward my goals?

About 20% of our activities generate 80% of our results.

All of our activities are not high-yielding and often “good” activities steal time from the best.

Use the 80/20 Rule.  You will never have to wonder if you are focusing on the most important thing again.