Intentional Living

80/20 Rule for Business

As a child and young adult I would often hear how time goes so fast and yet I felt it was moving at a snail’s pace. I couldn’t wait for summer breaks, my driver’s license, and to be off to college. Now as an adult, I totally understand the speed of how life goes. The first five years of my 40s have felt like one year of school waiting for summer break.

With that being said, I want to make my time and tasks count–including work. I recently read The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss and it was a great eye-opener. He broke down how the busy work of our workday eats up our days and leaves us with little time for the fun things in life or the most successful business that we can have.

The 80/20 rule is essentially that 80% of our income/success comes from 20% of our work. WOW!  Think about that. The majority of our time is wasted without a return on the time invested. I don’t know about you but on my journey to be more intentional that certainly isn’t a percentage that I want to continue on!

Here are some tips of applying the 80/20 rule to your business:

  1. Take a week (or two) and write down the tasks you are doing each day. Record the customers you work with, calls, emails, time spent researching, time spent prepping, income, expenses…everything. This seems daunting but it will give you insights on how you are actually spending your time. Don’t forget to include the time you get distracted checking Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. during your workday.
  1. Once you have completed your notes, take a look at where your time was spent. Did you spend too many hours researching things that didn’t go anywhere? Is there a client that consumed your time and the time spent is not a good return on investment? Is your income less than what you need and are expenses that can be reduced?
  1. If you have a handful of customers that clearly know what they want and have a good system in place, find more of them and let go of the time consuming one.
  1. If you spend a gob of your income on advertising that produces no calls but taking 10 minutes to update your blog results in calls each week, write your blog.
  1. If you found yourself looking over your social media accounts throughout the day, set a specific time each day with a time limit to look. 

The theory behind the 80/20 rule is that truly only 20% of the work we do produces a quality end product. These are just a few examples of ways to ensure you are spending your time on the best 20%. Take the time to find your 20%. You will find yourself having more time to be intentional in other areas of your life.

Have you worked on finding your 20%? If so, what did you remove from your daily business schedule?

Contributed by Jessica Clemens

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