How To Manage Time Better
80% of the results you want comes from 20% of the work
80/20 Rule, How To Manage Time Better, Time Management
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How To Manage Time Better

How To Manage Time Better

Do you ever ask yourself how you can better manage your time?

If managing people is making choices about how to maximize their potential, than you can easily say that managing time is making choices about how to maximize its potential as well.

One of the most useful tools I have found to most effectively manage time is Pareto’s Principle.  Pareto was an Italian Economist who in 1906 observed that 80% of Italy’s land was owned by 20% of the population.  From this comes The Pareto Principle, more commonly known as the 80/20 rule.  Simply put, 20% inputs yield 80% output

How does this help you manage your time?

Let’s look at 3 relevant examples:  

  1. 80% of results are accomplished in 20% of the time – if it takes 1 hour of work  on a project to yield 80% of the result, then it will take 5 hours to yield 100% of the result.  Your job, when managing your time, is to evaluate when 80% is good enough.  We’ve all been conditioned to think that we have to give 100% all the time.  But rethinking this helps us be more productive.  Not all work is 100% worthy.  When I answer emails I go for 80% – maybe they aren’t perfect, but if I invested the time to make them perfect I would have little time for the work that supports my goals.  I typically spend 2 hours a day on email – if I made them 100% perfect I’d be spending 10 – not worth it!  Financials, proposals, writing – yes these are worth improving the output; email, not so much.
  2. 80% of what you use comes from 20% of what you have – I bet you wear 20% of your shoes 80% of the time.  I bet you use 20% of your pens, and papers, and notebooks 80% of the time.  I bet you reference 20% of your files 80% of the time.  If you can move the 80% of the things you rarely use into “non-prime real estate” you will be able to access your most important things much more easily, find them when you need them and waste less time looking for your important things.
  3. 80% of the results you want comes from 20% of the work you do – when evaluating how to spend your time consider which tasks on your to-do lists will help you to best reach your goals.  If you cut out the tasks that are off strategy, you’ll be working smarter.  When reviewing your to do list ask yourself – is this on strategy.  Imagine how much more productive you’ll be when you focus on the 20% that gives you 80% of the results.

Using the 80/20 rule does in fact help you become more effective and efficient.  Your choices, decisions and efforts will be focused on things that matter and you’ll be streamlined and productive.

6 Comments
  • Hazel Thornton
    Posted at 09:55h, 23 July Reply

    Great minds, Ellen! I never tire of the 80/20 Rule. Love your email and prime real estate examples. Here are some of mine: http://www.org4life.com/the-8020-rule-is-your-friend/

    • Ellen
      Posted at 14:28h, 23 July Reply

      Great minds- we tend to do that Hazel, don’t we! I tell my clients that they wouldn’t want to put things they never use on their beach front property…they all get that!

  • Ellen Delap
    Posted at 10:21h, 23 July Reply

    Love this use of the 80/20 rule. How applicable to how we use our time. Thanks for sharing. Smart strategies are all about time management!

    • Ellen
      Posted at 14:27h, 23 July Reply

      Yes, Ellen, totally applicable to time. Nice perspective!

  • Linda Samuels
    Posted at 20:01h, 24 July Reply

    Hi Ellen- I’m a big fan of the 80/20 rule, which can be applied to a host of scenarios. With see it with time, with stuff, with communities and more. Congratulations on your new blog. Here’s to you and many more great posts to come!

    • Ellen Faye
      Posted at 00:20h, 25 July Reply

      Thanks Linda! It really is amazing how many places we can apply the 80/20 rule.

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