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Work Less Using the 80/20 Rule

Pareto's Guide to Time Management


Work Less Using the 80/20 Rule

I think you might be working too much. In a recent poll, I asked the question, "When do you work from home?" The majority of those who responded said they worked "all the time". When has doing something "all the time" ever felt quite right? In order to have a balanced and healthy life, experts state there should be moderation in all things - and that goes for working too. Utilizing Pareto's 80/20 Rule for time management will help you work less but accomplish more.

Health Risks of Working Too Much

A recent study completed by the University College of London and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in the UK shows a 60% increase in heart-related illness in those who work three or more hours in addition to a normal seven-hour day. Those studied also became increasingly aggressive, competitive, tense, time-conscious and generally hostile.

The 80/20 Rule = Solution

The 80/20 Rule was created by an Italian economist name Vilfredo Pareto. In his various observations, he surmised that roughly 80% of all effects come from 20% of the causes. Simply put, in your business or life there are certain activities you do (20%) that account for the majority of your results (80%). Consider utilizing the 80/20 Rule to maximize the way you work. Be more ruthless in cutting time or tasks that contribute little to no value. Working smarter beats working harder.

Work Less & Accomplish More

Limit Email Time: Don't constantly monitor email and respond immediately. Set aside a few times a day dedicated to reading and responding. Stop neurotically checking your inbox like a junkie.

Focus on Actually Doing Work: Give yourself strict deadlines and omit distractions. Utilize one of the free online time management tools, like Rescue Time®, to help track where you become unproductive and protect you from making the same mistakes.

Work to Complete: When you sit down to work, don't spread your time between multiple tasks. Focus on one thing at a time and work on it until it is finished. Some people refer to this as "killing projects".

Cut Time Suckers: If there are customers or employees who take up 80% of your time and contribute little to your bottom line, consider getting rid of them or putting in place guidelines to minimize the amount of time they waste.

Work in Bursts: Divide your time into two segments, complete rest from work and complete focus on work. Don't dabble in work all day or try fitting work in when you should be focusing on something else. Learn to say no to non-essentials.

Get Your Rest: Being tired makes you less productive. Your thinking becomes cloudy and your creative juices run dry. Getting your rest, having fun and spending time with your family will do wonders for your efficiency and productivity.

Get Help: Streamline your processes by utilizing online business tools. Consider what a calendaring system, time management system or a customer (CRM) database can do for your business. Also consider hiring outside help like a virtual assistant or bookkeeper.

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