In the entrepreneurial world, the 80/20 rule – also known as Pareto’s principle – is one of the most popular and often-talked-about bits of advice frequently given to people interested in creating their own start-ups.
To cut a long story short, the 80/20 rule is a heuristic that states that 80% of the results you get will come from 20% of your actions – while the remaining 80% of your actions will only account for a meagre 20% of your results. The point of this principle is to help you to focus your time and energy more effectively, so that you can avoid waste wherever possible.
Here are just a few actionable ways of using the 80/20 rule in your life.
Utilise Services That Streamline Your Professional Operations and Remove Busy Work
No entrepreneur, no matter how savvy, is ever going to be an expert in all things. As your business grows, in particular, you will find that there are many areas where you will need to work much harder, and dedicate much more time and energy than you would like, to things that are outside of your direct areas of expertise.
One excellent way of delegating and using the 80/20 rule, is by utilising services that streamline your professional operations and remove “busy work,” so that you can remain focused on your core competencies.
It might be, for example, that your mobile marketing campaign could be much more effective, and much less time consuming for you, if you utilised an appropriate service.
Use Tools to Track Your Time, and Block Distractions, So That You Are Forced to Be More Mindful About the Tasks You Undertake
As the saying goes, “procrastination is the thief of time,” and it’s likely to be the case in your professional life as well as in your personal life that many of the generally unproductive activities you engage in happen as a result of some or other form of procrastination.
Consider using various tools to track your time, and block distractions, so that you are forced to be more mindful about the tasks that you undertake and the ways in which you choose to spend the precious moments that are at your disposal on any given day.
If you use a tool such as ATracker for a while, and find that you spend an hour or two everyday checking your emails, that might be a sign that it’s time to reorient.
Do the Most Obviously Important Things First, Then Assess the Outcomes Before Doing More “Optional” Stuff
Whenever you undertake a particular endeavour in your professional life, you will likely be able to identify, quite quickly, some of the most obviously important things that you know need to be dealt with as par for the course.
To a large extent, the 80/20 rule is about ensuring that you spend most of your time and energy on these essential core tasks, while reducing the amount of time you spend on everything else.
So, always do the most obviously important things first, then assess the outcomes and results before piling on tons of “optional extras” that might end up being largely redundant.