The 80/20 Principle in Practice

hamster wheelRecently, I’ve been doing major cutbacks in my work day. It started with my lead generation. I’d been putting myself through the wringer for six or seven months in an attempt at kicking my results up a notch, only to have the opposite effect. I finally had to draw a line in the sand or run the risk of burning out.

I pulled the plug completely and took a couple of weeks off the lead generation hamster wheel. The result? My incoming leads and my revenue actually increased. Was it that my energy had improved? Maybe. Was it that I was focusing more on the right things? Possibly. Either way, I wasn’t going to stop a good thing. I started cutting back in every way imaginable, and my work schedule was the next thing to take a hit.

I’m currently in the middle of a “staycation” (you know, when you take a vacation without really going anywhere), and I’m limiting my work time to two to four hours per day. Amazingly, I’m still getting roughly the same amount accomplished. Except I’m not checking my news feeds several times per day, only once for five minutes by quickly scanning the highlights, so essentially, I’m having to cut the fat from my day.

Before I started my week, I went through my planned schedule and jotted down the most important four or five tasks that should be completed by Friday. I also solicited the help of a virtual assistant to help with a lot of my regular (and necessary) tasks. Everything else got the boot.

Now, I’m actually considering making these cuts permanent. When I return from my little hiatus, I’m thinking of temporarily dropping the bottom 80 percent of the tasks I do each day and then monitoring the results for a month or so.
I should be making the best use of my time. By forcing myself to ruthlessly cut away any excess, I’m getting down to the truth of it: much of what I do each day is a complete waste of time and is absolutely unnecessary for the success of my business. I’m willing to bet the same is true for you!

How much of your daily activity is actually revenue-producing? How much of it is really necessary for your success? Is it possible that you could trim even the bottom 20% of your daily tasks and still accomplish the same results?

Photo by pocheco

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