Use the 80-20 Rule

The 80-20 Rule can help you leverage your time. 80-20 says that you will get 80% of your most productive work done in 20% of your time. Find that 20% of your time when you are most effective and guard it from interruptions.

If 80% of your time is less productive, imagine what you can get accomplished if by being intentional you made even a small improvement in productivity, regaining three, five or even ten percent of that time to use towards effective work.

“We often complain of not having enough time. More often the problem is that we don’t use our time very well. To be blunt, we waste our time on less important items when with a little planning we could make dramatic improvements on accomplishing more important tasks.”

Richard Koch

Five Days of Action

Today review the 80-20 rule. Research it on the Internet. Read a book about it or listen to a tape. Talk with others about it. Think about how it can be applied to your own life and work.

Based on the thinking you’ve done on the 80-20 rule, today is your day to stretch. Find that 20% of your time when you are most effective and maximize your use of it. What if you could make small improvements each and every week? Take up the challenge to be increasingly effective.

Today, make a list of the ways in which you waste time. Be brutally honest. You’re the only one who will see the list. Admit to yourself that you have absolutely wasted that time, and resolve to be conscious of your time-wasting habits in the future. You can’t get that time back but you can change going forward. Make this shift today.

Imagine achieving a one percent improvement in the overall efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of your operation this month. Just one percent. That seems not only very possible, but significant if carried on for ten months to a cumulative improvement of ten percent. Create a one percent challenge for your team.

The 80/20 principle applies across all sorts of situations. How else can you view it or use it to address other personal, professional or organizational situations? Become a student of 80/20 and let that new approach to your thinking influence your planning.