80/20 Rule In Time Management

People talk about the 80/20 rule quite a bit.

20% of your customers produce 80% of your profits.
80% of your problems come from 20% of the customers.
20% of your activities produce 80% of your results.

Let’s talk about this in regard to how you’re spending your time. Since 80% of your activities only produce 20% of your results, and the other 20% of your activities are producing 80% of your results…wouldn’t you be better off concentrating only on the 20%?

Let’s say someone works 12 hour days. It’s almost unbelievable to me that people work that much, but I’ve spoken with MANY who do so. Sure I could understand and have done a 12 hour day right before a vacation or on the last day of finishing a project. But working that long every single day? That’s the surefire recipe for a breakdown, both physically and mentally.

Applying the 80/20 rule to their 12 hour days means the 80% is 9.6 hours and the 20% is 2.4 hours. If we cut out the 80% that isn’t producing very well for them, we would only have 2.4 hour days. Now there’s a schedule I like.

Something I often suggest to my coaching clients is to make an activity log for the next week. Every day, simply list all the activities for the day and how long it took you to do them. At the end of the week rate each of those activities by how well it is building your business.

You’re going to find you’re wasting way too long on certain activities.

You may find, like many of my clients these activities include:

– Reading too many blogs (Limit the number you subscribe to)
– Subscribing to Internet marketing newsletters that sell you the hot new thing (I quit all Internet marketing newsletters and suggest the same for you).
– Answering Email All Day (no more than twice per day and shoot for once per day or less)
– Surfing the Forums (I can’t think of a bigger waste of time if you’re not there for the purpose of generating traffic by participating)
– Calling Someone without a Specific Plan in mind (you can waste an hour with no results – keep it short and planned)

All of the above are activities people do to make them FEEL like they’re working instead of doing any real work. They also consume your day.

What are you personally doing that is wasting your time?
What do you do to replace the real work of your business?

Usually these are activities that consume much of your day…and don’t show any real results at the end. They are part of the 80% producing only 20% of the results.

Next ask yourself which activities really bring in the cash.

For example, for me, these cash producers include:

#1 – Writing (used for the blog, new products, and article submissions)
#2 – Copywriting (sales copy for my sites, tests, and emails)
#3 – Product Development (recording videos and doing interviews to create products)
#4 – Business Development (creating systems for others to do the work – could also be listed as the real #1 cash producer but I love the writing part the best)

Where do I waste my time?

I asked myself this question lately and had to answer I had slacked on following my own email rule (answering no more than twice per day max which I do for the coaching clients). So I am pushing myself strictly back to this.

I’ve also allowed myself to check the comments on this blog too often. So for the time being I’m turning off blog comments. For me they are part of the 80% that’s not really producing the results. This is a test though as I will be monitoring traffic and response numbers to see what the result of turning off the comments will be. While there are many regular readers to this blog, it does not receive a large amount of comments constantly. Trackbacks of course will continue to be enabled…and I will test a post or two by opening up comments on those posts only at times.

Be honest with yourself…and figure out where you waste your time. What parts of your business are the 20% producing 80% of the results? Which parts are the 80% only producing 20% of the results? What can you eliminate or outsource immediately?

Related Entries:

Comments

Comments are closed.