If you haven’t heard of the 80/20 principle yet, then this will be a good introduction to the amazing law that helps you focus on what works and disregards what doesn’t, saving you tons of time and helping you to reap great results.
80% of Results Come From 20% of Your Effort
That’s it in a nutshell. Don’t be deceived at how glib this may sound, there is so much to learn from this simple yet effective formula!
Many people who have heard about this principle, usually from Tim Ferris’ book “The 4 Hour Work Week”, have not tried a full 80/20 analysis on their business and certainly not on their life.
Does it always work? Sometimes the results can differ perhaps you might achieve 95/5 or 75/25, but I’ve seen this work in many different situations in some way or another.
I think for most, this technique can look as if it’s too good to be true or may take much time to implement. But believe me guys, coming from a person who lives by this principle it works like a dream and will help free up your time to spend it on what matters the most to you.
How to Use the 80/20 Law to Improve Productivity in Your Life
Focus on the 20% of your work that brings the 80% of results
Start by analyzing where your time goes for at least one week, make it two weeks if you can to make this more effective. Each hour make a note of what you did and how you did it.
Once you have done this look into what you were actually doing. Was everything you did important or did it seem important at the time, but with hindsight was time wasted!
Analyse further to see what activities took you one step closer to your goals and made you money and which activities did the opposite and drove you away from what you wanted to achieve.
Once you find the 20% that made the different concentrate your efforts on this activity and let the other 80% of activities that didn’t yield results disappear freeing you up to spend more time relaxing or doing what you love.
Outsource and free up even more time
Once you know what works you have the option to free up even more time by using outsourcing methods. Get crystal clear about the work that needs to be done to make you money, then find a virtual assistant via elance or another outsourcing website and hire somebody to do this work on your behalf.
I have used outsourcing methods for a number of years and providing you chose the right staff, you can free your hands significantly. Remember this is all about freeing up your time so you can work less and play more!
Do 20% of the things that bring 80% of what makes you feel happy
This is more lifestyle and family focused compared with the above, but this is probably the most important section of this article. Start to focus on the experiences that makes you happiest – what 20% of experiences lead to your 80% of times of excitement, fulfillment and pleasure. On the other hand, what are the experiences that make you feel depressed, unhappy and plain just bore you?
Focus on that meaningful 20% and discontinue the 80% that you quite frankly don’t need in your life.
Spend time with the 20% of people who bring 80% of enjoyment
This can be a really difficult one, nonetheless if you want to feel most happiness in your life then I’m afraid you are going to have to ditch the people who make you feel negative in some way. When with friends and family work out who’s company you enjoy and who’s you don’t.
Once you have analyzed this commit yourself to spending your time with the people who reinforce your positive self image and make you feel good.
Find the 20% of clients who bring the 80% of profits
Your goal here is to identify your 20% of clients who make you the most money and say goodbye to the rest. If you run a business you will have undoubtedly experienced clients who cost you most of your time for very little return – remove the focus from these individuals and try your best to say NO to this type of client in the future. Try to understand and spot this type of customer to save you frustration and time in the future.
Remember we are trying to get more done with less here, so working your butt off for little yields is not going to cut it!
Give the 80/20 Principle a Go
I can’t stress the importance of using this technique in your life, for me I was able to use it to build my business, as I quickly noticed that 20% of my marketing efforts that brought 80% of my (good) clients was when attending very short networking events.
The 80% of my other marketing efforts that did not work were dropped and I instantly had more time to myself and more clients as I focused on what worked!
Disconnect from the false belief that happiness comes from putting in long arduous hours at work – this is not the case! Be more productive by using the 80/20 law and it will can work wonders for you wealth, health and overall happiness.
Have you used the 80/20 law in your life, we would love to hear about it. Leave a comment below: