What's Your 80/20 Rule?
Do you buy into the idea that doing less is being lazy?
It’s so easy to do. And recently I’ve been wondering if that’s one of the reasons I’m always busy. I don’t want to feel lazy and I don’t want to be judged as being lazy either (by myself or anyone else).
But here’s what happens when I’m busy ‘just to be busy.’ I often find that I’m out of balance. Or my self-care suffers. Or I don’t end up getting enough sleep. Or I’m not exactly enjoying life. Or I make excuses for why my priority projects aren’t getting done. And for sure….I’m not living my aligned life!
And that got me thinking about slowing down and savoring a bit more and also about the 80/20 Rule.
We’ve all heard of the 80/20 Rule (the Pareto Principle) which basically says that 80% of the output is produced by 20% of the input. So, what does that mean for you and me?
- We wear 20% of the clothes in our closet 80% of time.
- We use 20% of the tools in our toolbox 80% of the time.
- 80% of our revenue comes from 20% of our customers
- 80% of our results comes from 20% of our effort
You get the idea.
And of course, it isn’t exactly 80/20, the ratio could be 70/30 or even 90/10, but by looking at these numbers, it’s clear we need to be focusing our energy and attention of the 20% that will maximize our results.
Do you want to be happier and live a life of purpose and passion? Do you want to be healthier with unbounded energy and enthusiasm? Do you want to have more money or experience financial freedom? How about more fulfilling relationships?
Then we need to be strategic in how we approach those areas. Instead of ‘business as usual’ we need to make a plan to take actions on the critical 20% that will maximize our results.
“Not only is happiness not money, it is not even like money.” ~ Richard Koch, The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less
What are your time wasters?
You may have fooled yourself into thinking you are taking action, but look closely. For me, one of my ‘daily goals’ is to read or watch something about business building each day. My thought was that I wanted to submerge my mind and focus on business-building activities. Sounds good, right? Yeah, not so much.
Here’s why. There is so much information out there and everyone is selling their own expertise. For me, it’s super-easy to fall into the ‘bright shiny object’ syndrome. Maybe I’ll learn about list building, or website design, or opt-in pages, or marketing copy, or nailing my niche, or what to write in newsletters (and this list goes on and on). And what these people are selling is so.darn.appealing.
And. I. Get. Distracted. From. My. Goals. And Dreams.
So, while I still think it’s a good idea to focus on business building, I need to be more strategic. What area of business building? Where do I need to build my skill set? What areas will help move me forward in the direction of my dreams? What do I need to let go of? Where am I putting too much pressure on myself? What can I do that will bring me joy?
And maybe the most important question of all: why do I need to listen to anyone else? I’ve been coaching for over 20 years.
What about tapping into my own wisdom and forget the rest. I’m not a copy of anyone else and it’s a good bet that their way is NOT my way. No way.
How can you put the 80/20 rule to use in your own life?
- Get clear on your desires, goals, and vision. Without clarity (and I can help with that) you are likely to chase after the magic bullet, get distracted by the next ‘bright, shiny object,’ and waste time on activities that will not move you forward. Get clear on what you really want, where you want to go, who you are, and what you stand for. And make sure your goals are your own, not what others think your goals should be.
I’m not a traditional goal setter. I’ve tried the SMART goals, but they don’t tend to work for me. Those SMART goals just end up being big to-dos. My best goals are tied into my core values, are less tangible, and more feeling-based and visionary. So, make you that ‘you do you’ when determining your goals, okay?
- What is your top priority? Commit to doing something every day that helps you become better at doing those high-value activities – those that make up the 20% that will get 80% of the results. Sometimes this high-value activity is external and sometimes it is internal (maybe you need to change your thinking from lack and limitation to expansiveness and possibilities).
In fact, one of my top priorities (when I'm not busy being busy) is to slow down and savor the moments. I'm always amazed that when I slow down (and not judge myself as lazy), I actually get more done. And it's a lot more fun!
- Always work toward your big goal or dream (which is why #1 is so important). A study was done to compare the attitudes of rich people and poor people regarding goal setting. It turns out that 85% of rich people have one big goal that they work on all the time.
Sometimes we need help in setting priorities or strategically thinking about the activities that will give us the most ‘bang for our buck.’ Asking for help in this area is not a weakness. In fact, getting help or support in this area may be part of your 20% of high-value activities.
We have a tendency to work on the easy things first. We think if we can complete 5 or 10 small things, we’ll be accomplishing so much. Nobody loves a checklist like I do and when I’m in my busy mode, I give myself a gold star for how many things I checked off my list. And while I’m giving myself that gold star, I’m not bothering to realize that those things were really low value activities and only served to keep me looking, and feeling, busy.
And then life happens and we run out of time for the high-value activities.
And then we promise ourselves we’ll do it tomorrow. But we don’t do it because our small-value tasks take over again. We need to reverse the cycle and begin with those high-value activities that move us forward toward our goals and dreams.
It may be easier said than done, but you can do it. I believe in you.
Say YES to yourself by slowing down and savoring more!
Hi, I’m Janet and I’m all about helping you to awaken to your value, wholeness, and connection to the divine. And I do this by teaching and guiding you back to the truth of who you are and who you came here to be. Left to our own devices, most of us don’t know how to begin or where to start. We can’t see beyond our blind spots. That’s where I come in.
With decades of coaching, teaching, and mentoring success, I bring my clients what they need to crush their excuses so they can amplify their impact, boost their self-confidence, and connect with their calling.