TOPS and The 80 20 Rule

A successful person works smart. But they also work hard and put in long hours.

But there is a difference between the hours you put in; and what you put in the hours; between what you achieve and the return on your time investment. If you are putting in 50 hours a week to complete work that does not fully utilize your time effectively then you are wasting your time. If on the other hand you are putting in 50 hours a week that fully utlises your time, but does not generate a return on your investment of time, then that is unwise also.

Say you work 10 hours a day. When we apply the 80/20 Rule for example on such a workday, the rule states that 8 hours of your day is 20% productive; while 2 hours is actually 80% productive. Ergo, if you find yourself spending all your time working, yet for 8 hours of it you are not making the most effective use of your time, then that is just being plain stupid.

And to continue to work at that level for a prolonged period will lead to fatigued non-efficiency, burn-out and even a break-down. Therefore it is important to know whether you are spending your time on the 80% or investing your time on the 20%.

You are in the 80% if you have to say yes to the following statements:
1. You are working on tasks that are considered urgent.
2. You engage in activity that you are not good at.
3. You are working on projects that you have no investment or interest in.
4. You are working on tasks others have asked you to do for them.
5. You are taking too long over particular tasks and indeed keep returning to them.
6. You find yourself complaining all the time.
7. You work on tasks that do not hold your attention.

You are in the 20% if you can say yes to the following statements:
1. You’re engaged in activities that are already on your strategic agenda/plan.
2. You have an idea how long a planned task is going to take.
3. You are doing things that you can accomplish easily because you are good at them.
4. You are working on tasks that you don’t like but you are aware that they are important.
5. You invest time delegating tasks to others to do.
6. You outsource or hire people to do the tasks that you are neither good at nor enjoy doing.
7. You are enthusiastic about accomplishing the task you have set yourself.

Everyone knows the value in planning and prioritizing. For every minute invested in planning what needs to be done, you save 10 minutes in the actual execution of what needs to be done. When you plan, the subconscious is aware that you have consciously planned it and immediately starts working behind the scenes on your behalf.

That is where my program: The One Percent Solution is effective (TOPS)

In applying TOPS you can very quickly start identifying and working on the 20% of tasks that will deliver 80% of your productivity.

Apply TOPS to consider the following questions:

1. Where do I waste my time?
2. And where do I invest my time most efficiently and effectively?
3. Am I prioritising?
4. For example: Do I have a set time for dealing with emails, or do I attend to it as it appears distracting me from tasks I am engaged with?
5. Do I need to answer emails as they appear – is that really part of my productivity responsibility?
6. Am I delaying starting a task by reading too many blogs / online newspapers that are not relevant to my task?
7. Is my time spent in producing or am I investing my time in marketing and new business development?

Linking TOPS with the 80/20 RULE, here are some more questions to help you prioritise:

1. Am I trying to do everything myself?
2. As 80% of my current To Do List collectively produces 20% of my results, how can I reschedule so that the 20% of tasks that produce 80% of my results are priority?
3. As 80% of what I file will not be looked at again, how can I be selective in choosing what I want to keep?
4. As 80% of my interruptions can be eliminated, how can I change the way I am currently being interrupted?
5. As 80% of my profits come from 20% of my clients, how can I change the way my time is currently consumed by the 80% of clients that only produce 20% of my profits?

Every day we have a certain amount of energy: physical, emotional, mental and psychic, in ascending order. As our thinking is generally rooted in improving what’s wrong, however, the emphasis of our energy is spent in that area.
When the focus of our attention is directed on what we can’t do, rather than on what we can do, we drain ourselves. Beating ourselves up mentally for being bad at something, for example, will consequently cause us to feel mentally perplexed, emotionally frustrated and physically tired.

Conversely, praising ourselves for excelling at something will cause us to be mentally stimulated, emotionally euphoric and physically energetic.

80/20 Rule Thinking states that the majority of our achievements take up only the minority of our time. Using the unit of one hour as a reference point, 12 minutes is invested wisely; and 48 minutes is spent unwisely. With the majority of our energy being drained it is of no surprise that there is so much fatigue and depression. This requires spending our time only on those activities that we have previously decided are of high value to us.

To argue that spending time, or expending energy, on what you want is just not feasible is unacceptable. Applying the TOPS Rule of: it is not the hours we put in, it is what each of us put in the hours, and acknowledging that time relates to energy expended, consider how you spend your waking hours.

For example how much time do you spend…
1. Thinking about what you should have done, or should be doing?
2. Doing things that you couldn’t say no to, or don’t enjoy?
3. Doing things that are part of a ritual?
4. Doing things that are an interruption, a ritual or repeatedly put off?

By using The One Percent Solution just 14 minutes a day to help you apply the 80/20 Rule to develop your time management, you will very quickly discover what tasks you should be investing your 20% in to ensure that you produce the 80% of the results you want to achieve.

In this way you will be achieving more in less time
– which is the key to building a successful business.

If you have not heard of TOPS before click here for more info.

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