The Pareto principle, or 80–20 rule, is based upon the research of Vilfredo Pareto (1848–1923). The principle states that approximately 80% of results are derived from 20% of effort.
Put another way: 80% of results are created by 20% of activities.
Given this, it would seem that 80% of business activity does not directly contribute to success, while the remaining 20% makes a significant difference.
Therefore, those 20% of activities should be chosen very wisely… because they have greater value. These guidelines may help:
1) Spend your time on value priorities
Ask yourself, what value does this activity have? Time is your most valuable asset. The more time you have, the more contacts you make, the mores sales and closings occur, the more income and recognition you will gain. Choose wisely.
2) Focus on “moving forward”
Value priorities are those things that move you forward, closer to your goal. Ask yourself, “Does this activity move me toward my goal?” If not, redirect your time.
3) Plan your work and work your plan
You will find it impossible to measure the value of your priorities if you are not crystal clear in your vision of success. Take the time to work through a Strategic Plan to determine your vision for the future. Once you have a plan, review it regularly to make sure you are following your map to success. Spend time only on activities that help you move closer to your vision and goals.
4) Get organized “your way”
Take time to examine your preferences, personality and work style. Do you prefer paper or electronic formats for tracking clients and activity? Then, use the system that works best for your style.
Mobile devices are great if you need to retrieve client data while you are out of the office, or to store large amounts of information in a small space. Paper systems may be better for reviewing a full calendar, taking notes at meetings, or planning and rearranging projects. The key is to use a system that feels comfortable to you… so it can work for you.
5) Learn to say “no”
As the old saying goes, “You can’t please all the people all the time.” It is essential to learn the art of saying “no” to those things that do not have the right value priority. Be honest and firm when stating your priorities.
6) Spend your energy where it counts.
Be mindful of where you are investing your time, effort and energy. Refuse to waste time on activities that do not move you forward, are not your responsibility, are drains on your energy, or fall into the category of things you cannot control.
7) Share the load
The more people helping, the easier it will be to reach your goal. Take time to find out who else may have a vested interest in your projects and seek to collaborate wherever possible.
8) Never do the same thing twice
Time is an asset that should be managed efficiently. Automate repetitive tasks whenever possible, catalog reference material and information so that you know where to find it, and record facts so they are easily accessible. Do away with that “stack” or “pile” and all those little “notes” that you have to search through every time you look for an answer… they are stealing your energy.
See you at the top,
~Sherry B Jordan