“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” — Mark Twain
You can use the 80/20 Rule to improve your life.
The 80/20 rule simply means that you focus on the 20 percent of the activities that produce 80 percent of the value.
This means letting go of the activities that bog you down, in favor of the activities that lift you up.
Focus on the 20 Percent That You Do Best
To do this well means first knowing what you do well and then being able to let the rest go. Once you’re willing to let things go, you open up a lot of options.
In The 80/20 Individual: How to Build on the 20% of What You do Best, Richard Koch writes about outsourcing your 80 percent to focus on the 20 percent that you do best.
Spend Your Best Energy on Better Things
The key here is to be mindful of your trade-offs. For everything that you take on, you’re letting something else go.
This is really about doing more of what you’re great at and less of what you’re not great at, unless there’s a longer-term benefit, such as your own growth.
When you spend more time doing what you’re good at, you have more energy for other things. It’s about optimizing the vital few versus spreading yourself thin and doing things that make you weak or waste your time.
Put Your Energy into the Vital Few 20 Percent
Companies outsource what they don’t do well, to focus on activities that they do do well.
“One of the most important recent trends in business is outsourcing. Companies that outsource more get other companies to take on activities that they do poorly or that give a much lower return on capital. ‘
Ideally, firms outsource the “trivial many” 80 percent of tasks and put all their energy into their “vital few” 20 percent of undertakings.”
Model from Corporate Outsourcing
People do this all the time. You can model from them.
“People can do precisely the same thing, using the same concept as corporate outsourcing . Find the 20 percent (or less) that you are outstandingly good at, then ask other people to perform the rest.
On one level – time – the rich and famous have always done this.
You don’t catch Madonna standing in line at the supermarket or passport office. Heads of state tend to spend less time fuming in traffic jam than the rest of us. Celebrities pack several lives into one; they live more intensely, devoid of the banalities that bog us down.”
If You’re Not Good at It, Don’t Do It
Outsource or give up what you’re not good at.
We can all export large chunks of ourselves. If you’re not good at something, don’t do it. Find someone else to do it, or forget about it altogether.
Why work hard to become mediocre at something? There are better uses of your time, your energy, your essential self.
Key Take Aways
Here are my key take aways:
- Focus on the vital few. Focus on the vital few activities that set you apart. Give your best where you have your best to give.
- Outsource what you’re not good at. If you’re not good at it, find somebody who is, or let it go. Lighten your load and focus on what gives you maximum results. if you can’t entirely drop it, find a mentor or pair up or team up. You probably know people you can trade skills with. Also, one person’s delegation is another person’s opportunity and one person’s weakness is another person’s strength.
- Model from others. Find people who are effective at delegating or outsourcing and model from them. Some people are very good at outsourcing their services from lawn care to taxes.
Get more out of the time you already spend, by spending your time on better things.
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Photo by WisDoc.