“80% of your effort should be spent on the 20% of your most important activities. Focus on those opportunities that promise the biggest return.”
How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell, page 14
I know how things work: the phone rings, the emails ding, front door opens, and your day takes on a life of its own. Days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months in what seems to be a blink of an eye. Before you know it, you are uncomfortably positioned between a rock and a hard place. In all probability, you are saying to yourself, “How did I let this happen?”
I suppose if we have to place one word on this dilemma it would have to be the word “discipline.” Maybe it is “priorities.” Or even “focus.” Regardless of what you choose to label it, what we decide to do each day determines our future.
In all probability, the majority of your daily tasks have very little to do with you achieving your important goals. I know you are working hard. I know you are putting honest effort into everything you do. The facts remain; how you spend your time may not be in the best interest of your future.
The 80/20 Rule has been bandied about for years and can fit into almost any work related comparison. For you technical geeks, it is often referred to as the Pareto Principle.
In truth, the flipside is often the case. We spend 20% on the important stuff. 80% of the time we are working hard on tasks that in the end don’t influence our eating habits.
I’m reminded of the acronym WIN. It stands for What’s Important Now. If you can discipline yourself to ask this question on a regular basis, your productivity will not only increase, but your bottom line will swell to a most impressive figure. What’s important to you… now?
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