Well, my life’s not a mess – most days at least. Maybe you are having trouble managing yours. That’s OK. At one point or another we all get bogged down by the mountain of stuff we have to do as business owners, executives, parents, spouses….human beings. It can become a lot – too much.
We all have 24 hours in a day but different things that fill those hours up. But I’m going to tell you a secret – most of that stuff isn’t helping you. It’s just there, getting in the way of other stuff. In fact, only about 20% of what you do has any real, lasting effect on your life. The rest is fluff – sticky, icky, pulling you down fluff.
How do I know this? I recently have started studying the Pareto Principle. To sum it up, really briefly, it means that out of 100% of our time, efforts, investments – really whatever topic we are focusing on – 20% of the activity generates the results. The other 80% is, basically, busy work. It stands true in almost every verticle – from the way the government sets up social programs to the way banks earn money on investments. 20% is probably going to generate the majority of results. Why, who knows. It is one of those “just is” scenarios that “just works” the majority of the time.
That’s the Pareto Principle
I can hear the “buts” …I get it, we all have them. Some of those non-results generating activities have to be done. BUT, do they have to be done by you? What if you focused more on the 20% that works and less on the 80% that kinda works.
If you are seeing where this is going (or not, I’m explaining it anyway) outsourcing is the key to realigning your focus where it counts the MOST while not letting the other important stuff go by the wayside.
Let’s paint a picture – the busy executive mom. She has a lot on her plate.
- Significant Other (or not)
- Extended Family and Friends
- Home / Cars / Bills
Each of those things are important and they are all jockeying for attention. The first question you have to ask when trying to Pareto Principle your life is:
Does it HAVE to be done by me?
If you said yes, it has to be done by me, the follow-up question should be:
Is there a FASTER way to do it?
Let’s look at household management – grocery shopping, cleaning, scheduling, maintenance, and cooking. It’s a lot, especially because we haven’t touched on the rest of the “stuff” you have to do. How much time would it save you if –
- You had an ongoing maintenance schedule so nothing “sneaks up on you”
- Your groceries were delivered to your door / Some of it was pre-prepped and still healthy?
- You had one maintenance person to do the stuff that takes up a whole weekend like mowing the lawn, changing the air filters, replacing the batteries in your smoke detectors.
- A housekeeper that comes weekly
- A family calendar that syncs with everyone and sends alerts to the whole family and everyone helping you out like the
mainteneceperson or housekeeper (see #1)
My guess is a lot of time – at least a Saturday’s worth. And if you knew how to set this stuff up you would have done it already. Because, who doesn’t want a Saturday to just lounge around once in a while – right!
So how do you apply the Pareto Principle to your life and career? First decide what has to be done by you. Next, investigate ways to make what has to be done by you faster or more efficient.
If it doesn’t have to be done by you, outsource as much as you can. From personal assistance to auto-paying bills – there are lots of ways to reclaim time by taking a lot of little things off your plate. Especially if those things fall within your budget, it’s important to do them because you have freed up time that you can spend doing the things you want to do or things that generate more business for your business.
Time management based on the Pareto Principle not only gives you back some time freedom but it can help you grow your business.
If you are looking for ways to Pareto Principle your business and be more efficient and productive, schedule a free 1 on 1 consultation.