What could you achieve if you got more done each day?
Chances are, you’d grow your business, connect with your team, improve your marketing, and still make it home in time for dinner, right?
While it constantly feels like things are piling into our to-do lists every single day, there is one powerful strategy to help you get more done…
… it’s the 80/20 rule (also called “the Pareto Principle”)
It basically means that approximately 80% of your results come from approximately 20% of your effort. So, if your to-do list for today had 100 tasks on it, only 20 of those tasks would really move the needle while the other 80 tasks would not.
If you want to be instantly more productive today and every day, your job is figure out which of those 20% of tasks are the important ones and which are not… and then delegate the other tasks (or don’t do them at all).
And if you really want to be insanely productive every day, focus on doing MORE of those 20% tasks and LESS of those 80% tasks.
In other words, major in the majors; don’t major in the minors.
As an owner, you might think that a lot of what you do is important, and it is. And you might look at your task list and wonder which of the 80% you can get rid of. Well here’s something to consider: what if you hired someone to work directly under you—call them a Chief Operations Officer or your #2 or whatever. If you give them the 8% of your tasks, that would free you up to do the 20%.
And before you say “I can’t afford that” consider the cost of your invaluable time being spent on things that you can hire someone else to do. Even if you pay them 6 figures, there’s a very high likelihood that their work will free you up to do more valuable work and grow your business considerably more than you’re paying them.
Unfortunately, most people don’t do that type of evaluation on their to-do list.
For just about every service business owner, the surest way to increase productivity is to spend more of your time directing your team, building strategies, and learning how to grow. Focus on those 3 things and let your team focus on executing. These activities have the potential to double or even triple your productivity per hour.
This probably sounds simple, and it is, but the fact is MOST business owners are still struggling because they ignore this principle.
It’s time to be honest with yourself!
The questions you must ask are:
- What are the 20% of my activities that yield 80% of my results?
- How can I concentrate on the 20%? How do I do more of that? How can I get better at that 20%?
- What aspects of the 80% can I delegate away, so I can concentrate on my 20%?
You don’t have to do it all immediately. Just make a big list of your projects, identify the 80%, and try delegating some of those right now. Aim to delegate 2 or 3 of those 80% items now.
(Why do I suggest this? It’s because a lot of service business owners have trouble delegating stuff to someone else if they think it is “mission critical”. But if you can delegate a few pieces, you may see that the work can be done by someone else and you’ll free up time for yourself! And you may end up becoming addicted to delegating your 80%.)
Or even if you can’t delegate everything away immediately, just make sure you prioritize the 20% and focus only on that each day, getting it done before you get to the 80%.
As Brian Tracy once said in a previous Service Business Edge event, “you need to become addicted to task completion” to which I’ll add: “Make sure you become addicted to completing the right tasks.”