A simple blog about seeking the Lord, savoring life and joyfully serving.
Monday, April 8, 2019
Productivity Hack: The 80/20 Rule
Can you really put in minimum effort and get maximum results? The Pareto Principle states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. An Italian economist named Victor Pareto came up with this idea when he was observing his pea pods and noticed that 20% of his pea pods produced 80% of his peas. He then made the observation that in Rome, 20% of the population owned 80% of the land. You have likely seen this in you own life.
- You wear 20% of your clothes.
- 20% of the workers do 80% of the work.
- 20% of your blog posts get 80% of your views.
This is an approximate number and you may sometimes see the percentage as more 70/30. The fact remains that you will typically find a smaller ratio of action producing the greatest results.
How and why should you use the Pareto Principle when goal setting? The fewer things you have going, the more energy you will have to give to those things thus the greater you will perform. Set your goals and you will notice that out of 10 items on your list, generally 2 will yield the most results. Unfortunately, most people will focus on getting to the 8 that don't yield the largest amount of results. Set your goals and focus on the few activities that have the biggest payoff and reward. The result: Minimum effort = Maximum reward. Resist the temptation to cross the small things of your to-list first. Focus on the HIGH VALUE tasks. Ask yourself what two or three things, if accomplished today, will make me feel successful and satisfied. Next determine how you can go all in on those tasks? Crush those top two first, delegate the rest or try to quickly complete them in a small amount of time. Remember, tasks expand to the time we allow. Allow the most time for your top two or three tasks.
Applying the 80/20 Rule
Think of all the things people do that they think will grow them spiritually.
- Reading the Bible
- Daily devotions
- Memorizing Scripture
- Going to church
- Listening to sermons online
- Attending women's weekends.
- Meeting with a mentor
- Reading Christ centered books
- Worship music
All of these things are fantastic and have grown me Spiritually. I have found the major Spiritual growth that has occurred in my life has come from 3 things: my one on one time reading God's Word, spending time in prayer (typically journaling), and meeting with a mentor. I have experienced growth from the other things on this list but the majority of my growth comes from those 3 things. If I am not careful I find that things that aren't really growing me Spiritually start to take precedence over the main thing. Have you ever heard, "Keep the main thing the main thing?' That applies here. If you want to see true spiritual growth you will find that two or three things yield the most growth in you Spiritual Life. In this instance, I am not saying not to do the other things but I'm trying to point out that you will find 80% of your personal growth indeed comes from 20% of the activities on this list.
- Quality time/ playing with my kids
- Teaching my kids
- Bible study/character development
- Wash clothes
- Refereeing (you know it's true)
This is an easy one for me. The most important two things on this list are quality time and character development. I can never get this time with my kids back again and the more time spent playing with the children the more bonded they will be to me and the more they will listen to me. That is the first and most important thing to me. the second is character development. I think it is important to impress the things of the Lord on my children's hearts and everything else will fall easily into place.
Health is a priority and we have tons of lists that help us strive toward that goal. I have a series called Ten ways to Tone up in Ten Days. Here are the ten things on that list.
When I look at the list I can instantly see the top ideas that help me the most. Number one is no sugar and number two is rebounding. If I had to add a third I'd say weight training and then the cran-water. The point is, if I am getting overwhelmed looking at that long list then I pick two or three and just go all in. I have discovered a new fitness hack that I believe is highly effective and is non-negotiable to me and that is the supplements I purchase from Amazon that I mentioned in this post (no not a muti-level marketing thing).
- Make bed
- Spray counters/wipe down surfaces
- Clean bathrooms
- Clean toilets
- Clean bathtubs
- Wash windows
Easily the most important tasks around the house are decluttering, laundry and dishes (and the ones I expend most of my effort on). Of course I must do the others but I can delegate those and focus my attention on the most important ones that get out of hand if I don't work on those.
I could elaborate further but you get the idea from the few I have mentioned. Again, this equation is approximate and you will see that it varies a little but the idea is the same: What are the two or three big things I can focus on today in order to be more productive? Identify them and do them well.