The Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto (1848–1923) suggested that the results and the causes of those results are unequally distributed in the ratio of 80:20. The Pareto Principle, more commonly referred as the 80/20 Rule, states that:
- 20% of your activities will generate 80% of your success, or
- 20% of a well time managed effort will generate 80% of the desired results.
Although the ratio 80/20 is not always this precise, it is used to put emphasis on how much is lost or how much can be gained with time management. It is not a surprise that identifying the critical 20% is the key factor to success.
A simple Time Management course can certainly help you to learn some tips and tricks and teach you using your time efficiently. But what can we do NOW to minimise our time wastage?
The key in identifying those critical 20% is by prioritising your tasks. You may use the Eisenhower Method to help you with that. It said that former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower used this method in prioritising his daily tasks.
To determine your priorities you will need to use a matrix, where you evaluate each task according to its Importance and Urgency. If you use this matrix then you will need to focus on Important tasks. If your tasks are
- Important and Urgent, then do them immediately
- Important but Not Urgent, then enter them into your calendar to keep track of them
- Urgent and Not Important, then delegate them to a competent person
- Not Urgent and Not Important are time wasters, so minimise them
This is common sense but you would be surprised how much this method will positively affect your productivity. For more info, read our future blog articles, or come to our Effective Time Management Courses and seminars.