Top 10 Ways to Make the Most of the 80/20 Principle

The “Pareto Principle” contends that you get 80 percent of your results from 20 percent of your actions.  To maximize this 20 percent, use the following tips to give yourself a competitive edge:
1. Develop a clear idea of what tasks are most important so that you can focus on them.
2. Make a to-do chart that categorizes tasks by priority level: High, Medium and Low.
3. Have a clear understanding about what is important to the other members of your work team, associates, or family members
4. Schedule time to respond to voicemail and e-mail; then do not allow yourself to interrupt your work at other times to check for messages.
5. Give yourself time to think.  Make an appointment with yourself when you can let your creativity loose.  Use an idea book.  (Explanation coming later this week)
6. Write down your goals.  When you are unclear about where your focus should be, look to your goals for guidance.
7. Organize your workspace so that you have easy access to what you need to perform important tasks.
8. Plan each month, each week, and each day.  Give yourself enough time to meet deadlines.
9. Plan each project by going backwards from the deadline.  Break it down to its’ components, allot reasonable time estimates to each component, and decide how many days ahead you should start the project – and how much time you can devote to it each day.
10. Learn to delegate!  The goal is to get the job done and to make other people feel as if they are part of the team; the goal is not to have everything done your way.
You probably believe you spend your time doing the most effective activities.  I challenge you to track your activities over the next seven days and then honestly evaluate where you can make improvements in your daily activities.  After your evaluation select a few of the top 10 ways to make the most of the 80/20 principle and put them into practice.

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