Ever feel like everything is important and you don’t know what to focus on? Then you’ll be glad to know that you can apply the Pareto Principle and ditch a large amount of what you do and still get the same results.
Picture yourself … you’re getting ready for the day. You step in front of your wardrobe and spend the next 15 minutes deciding what to wear.
What would be your go to outfit to feel confident + comfortable for the day ahead?
It’s a no brainer right. It’s been your go to choice forever because you know it looks + feels good!
How many times would you say you’ve chosen that outfit in a pinch?
Not sure. No worries, you can do a little experiment … each time you wear an item put a paperclip on the hanger. Over a period of time count the number of paperclips on each hanger and see what you find.
What you find could spur a little spring clean and even you save money because you now know what items to buy more of in future, and which to leave on the shop shelf.
I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that your results reflected what the Paraeto Principle found … you wear 20 percent of your clothes around 80 percent of the time.
We can apply this same principle to our schedule and find the 20 percent of our actions that are giving us 80 percent of our results.
Finding your best 20
So how can you use the 80/20 rule to help you tame your todo list and know what to focus in your busy work day?
You may be like me and thought about how you could work out which 20 percent of your activities gives you 80 percent of the results.
Productivity tools can help give you the answers
A planner or calendar can give you some great feedback for sure. Although you have to know when to seek their insight.
Like your wardrobe experiment, your planner or calendar will only tell you what you’ve spent your time doing, not whether 20 percent of your current activities will produce the 80 percent results you want.
So we may come back to our productivity tools for insight a little later.
Because there’s a few things to consider before you try and hack yourself into living a semi retired lifestyle by ditching 80 percent of what you’re currently doing.
You might need to start here
Before you ask where do you look? You may want to ask yourself if you’re happy with the results you’re getting right now.
If so, look through your current activities and weed out the ones that’s aren’t necessary. It may take a little trial and error to see what the effects are, but it’ll be worth it. Think of how much time + energy you can save.
It’s surprising what you can eliminate from your todo list when you look at it from a fresh perspective and ask yourself different questions.
Now if you’re still reading, then your like me and want to improve the results you’re getting first.
So instead of diving into our data, we’re going to find out why our brains are making our current top 20 percent of decisions that are giving us the results we’re getting right now.
Your brain wants to helps you
Our brains are designed to conserve energy. So it will, by design, choose the easiest things for us to do. It’s how + why we create habits.
The activities we do the most are turned into habits so we can enjoy doing them without thinking. Now that’s efficiency at it’s finest!
It’s sole job is to make it as easy as possible for us to do things.
However, our brain doesn’t only create habits that are good for us. It also makes choices + creates habits that stop us from achieving the results we want too. It’s like they cheer for both teams on the field at the same time, annoying right?!
Our minds, if not trained for success, are easily cluttered with “all the things”, and everything can seem important.
So now you know why your current top 20 percent of activities may not be producing the kind of 80 percent results you are looking for.
Help it help you
Like Curtis the Elf says in the Santa Claus movies, “help me to help you to help me” … well it’s like that with our brains.
We need to help it help us. And we can do when we understand what fuels it’s choices.
It’s simple really. Our actions are fuelled by our thoughts. What we think effects the decisions we make. Proverbs 23:7
It’s a simple chain of events …
Our thoughts create our feelings, which fuels our actions and gives us the results we are getting. So to make the kind of 20 percent decisions that will give us the 80 percent results we want, we need to think the right things first.
The science of Neuroplasticity is helping us to understand just how we can do this. A great book to read that explains it in everyday language is called “The Power of Neuroplasticity” by Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. And another great book about helping our brain help us is “Mindset” by Carol Dweck, and it’s an easy read to with loads of great examples.
And get ready to snowball toward success
Just like looking over your planner or calendar to find your best 20 percent of effort that’s giving you 80 percent of your results, a journal can tell you what you’re thinking about.
And when you know what you’re thinking about you are better able to choose the thoughts that will help you create feelings and actions that will give you the results you want.
But it’s not just any kind of journal. You want to gratitude journal because it helps you train your brain to think the right things.
And that’s important because what you focus on you get more of!
Gratitude changes the way you think, which in turn effects the decisions you make, your capacity to achieve goals, it enhances the quality of your relationships and health … and it is what ultimately determines the quality of your business + life!
You can read more about the benefits of gratitude here, there are tonnes of them!
Now you can choose the BEST 20 percent of activity to achieve the 80 percent results you’re looking for.
Success comes when you #takeAction
The Pareto Principle can be one of your most efficient productivity hacks, as long as you are already producing the results you want more of.
If you want to get better results from the actions you’re taking you’ll first want to train your brain for success.
It all starts with your thoughts!
Your thoughts create your feelings, which fuels your actions and gives you the results you’re getting.
Gratitude jounalling is a simple and effective way to train your brain for success so you get the kind of 80 percent results your looking for.
It’s time to flourish!