The Transformative Power of the 20%

When  you lay your head on the pillow at night, what goes through your mind?

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If you are like I used to be, you plunge into bed later than you want–exhausted from a day working super hard.  Then, you only think of what is still left to do–disappointed at what you were able to accomplish, and wondering if your time was well spent.

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There has to be a better way!

Thankfully there is!

In this blog, I am going to introduce you to (or remind you of) the tried and true 80/20 rule introduced by a 19th century Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto.

Through a series of events, Pareto discovered the principle that in life approximately 80% of our results are derived from only 20% of our activities.  The converse is also true.  About 80% of our activities only generate 20% of our results.  This explains why some people are able to accomplish great things with relative ease while many people who are extremely hard workers never seem to generate the results they want.

If you want to generate more results with equal or less effort, the most important thing you can do is to prioritize your action items.  You want to be sure that your actions are chosen intentionally to produce the greatest results.  You don’t want to spin your wheels!

Here are some quick and easy steps to do this.

  1. Write everything down.  When you feel life coming at you at a million miles an hour, grab a pen or pencil and write down everything on your mind.  You will quickly realize it cannot all get done, and you must prioritize!
  2. Divide your actions into two groups.  Draw a line down a piece of paper, draw two big circles or…you get the idea.  You are going to divide these actions into the “get BIG results” pile or the “other” pile.
  3. Do the 20% first.  You don’t have to choose to never do the other items.  You just want to focus on the 20% first because you have already stated they “move the needle.”  They make life happen.  They get it done.
  4. Enjoy the results.  When I started taking time to think time, I used the 80/20 Rule to identify my most important actions, and my life was changed.  The most noticeable difference for was feeling content at the end of the day.  I had accomplished what was most important, and these actions were driving results that led to my treasured immediate, short term, and long term goals.

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Tomorrow morning, instead of diving into the day in the morning and diving into bed at night, take time to think time and enjoy the feeling of contentedness as you reflect on your results.

 

These are my thoughts…  What are yours?

How do you feel at the end of the day?  What do you think would drive real change?

Please share in the comments below!

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder, Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

 

2 Comments

  1. I think I may be over-thinking things. I have spent so much time reflecting, drawing, mind-mapping, and prioritizing for the year 2017 and the first quarter that I missed the entire month of January! I just skipped ahead to February but I’m still concerned about the time spent! I have yet to get down to the weekly planning level. Any advice?

    1. Thank you, Bill!

      I totally hear what you are saying! It can be a lot to work in all of the routines into your life at once! Be encouraged thought! The thinking that you have done on your yearly and quarterly will show through as you sift and sort according to your big picture goals. If I were you, I would spend 30 minutes looking at your yearly and quarterly and jotting a skeleton for February just to catch up. ( Don’t worry if you don’t complete the whole thing this month. Maybe just focus on the Envision Box, Rosebush, To Be/To Do, and the Grid) Then, I would spend just one hour once a week on your weeklies and refresh your mind for a few minutes each day. Next year, I am really encouraging everyone to start their yearlies and quarterlies prior to the start of the new year. How did your yearly and quarterly go?

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