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The Law Of The Vital Few & Entrepreneurship: 9 Steps To Streamline Your Focus [#ProductivityHacks]

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[This is 12th chapter in the #ProductivityHacks series currently running on Trak.in]

The Law of Vital Few can be described as one of the strongest pillars of productivity. As we learnt in the last chapter, 80% of the results come from 20% of our efforts, and this 80/20 rule can be applied everywhere.

In this chapter, we will discuss some practical implementation of this law in our daily life, so that we concentrate only on the most important tasks, which results in real output:

Productivity Hacks Entrepreneurs-010

Relationship:

Human beings tend to go for the new thing, always. We are always looking out to meet new people, interact with them and include them in our network. In this rush for meeting and interacting with new people, we often tend to ignore those we already know.

By applying 80/20 rule in relationships, we can make stronger bonding and deeper relations. Concentrate 80% of the time in nurturing old relationships because it is the reference through which your network will increase. Spent rest of the 20% time in building new contacts.

Parkinson’s Law:

Parkinson’s Law states that a task will swell in complexity and perceived importance in relation to the time allocated for it’s completion. Hence, if you are allocated 7 days to complete a project, then the first 6 days will be used by your mind to make the task complex as your mind will internally perceive the task to be more important.

On the other hand, if you give a deadline of 24 hours to any task, then your mind will somehow finish it off, considering it less important and less complex. To apply Parkinson’s Law and combining it with 80/20 rule, limit the tasks which you are supposed to do, and set a deadline for it. No matter what is the condition, just finish it off within that deadline.

Tasks:

After creating the task lists for daily, weekly and monthly schedule, write down approximate hours which would be spent on each task. Example, for Email: 1 hour, for Social Networks: 2 hours, for Client Meetings: 4 hours and so on. Now, evaluate and judge the productivity which you may be deriving on each task. Apply 80/20 rule, and eliminate the tasks which consumes more hours but giving very less output.

RSS Feed / Email Newsletters:

Scan your RSS feed and Email News Letters and find out the content which consumes more time to read but gives less satisfaction and information. Eliminate and delete those feeds which you think offers nothing more than advertisements and endorsements.

By applying 80/20 rule over here, we can filter out the best feeds to follow and news letter to read.

TV Shows:

Almost same as RSS feed and emails. Observe your TV viewing habits for two weeks and then evaluate how much time you are spending on which shows, and what is the output you are generating.

Being an entrepreneur, watching soap operas and mindless comedy shows will of course give you zero productivity. Make a list of all important business and investment related shows, marketing and entrepreneurship related programs, and spend your 80% of time watching those.

Web Surfing:

There is a software called Rescue Time, which needs to be installed on your computer. Once activated, it gives you a daily track record of the time spent on each website. Analyze the data on a weekly basis, and find out the websites where you spend 80% of the time, and you will shockingly discover that these websites gives out minimum output to you.

Eliminate those websites from your surfing habit and save time so that you can concentrate on the 20% most important websites which gives you 80% productivity.

Clients and Customers:

As shared earlier, 80% of the profit generated by your company will directly or indirectly associated with 20% of the clients and customers. Identity those valuable clients, and try to spend 80% of time with them.

The customers who are generating less revenue but actively participate in annoying calls and complaints can be delegated to others. Personally, your time is super precious; use it intelligently. Yes, customers are always right but believe me, some people are simply not worth it.

Budget:

As the start of the year or a month, when you allocate budget to different activities and expenses, try to figure out the ROI on each expense. You can verify the 80/20 rule here as well.

Leave out the housing, food and taxes expenses, which are almost vital for your survival. Now, analyze what is left out and figure out the ROI. By applying the 80/20 rule while allocating your budget, you will discover that by using 80% of your hard earned money on the most important 20% of tasks, you can exponentially increase your ROI and productivity.

Goals:

Goals are very important in life, no doubt about it. But sometimes, in the excitement of creating and finalizing goals, we often go overboard and create unnecessary, bulky goals which take us down into the abyss of un-productivity.

Erase those goals by implementing the 80/20 rule into them. Find out the goals which are most important for you, right now, and eliminate all others or postpone them. By applying the Parkinson’s Law, give less time to each goal, and complete them. It has been observed that when goals are less and deadline is short, then our minds are wired to complete them.

Once the most important goals are completed, you will easily identify the rest of the goals, which are crucial for you.

Besides these 9 methods to streamline your focus, the 80/20 rule or the Law of Vital Few can be successfully applied in every sphere of life.

Sir Issac Pitman, the inventor of Short Hand discovered that just 700 words make up 2/3rd of English Language!

Nathan Myhrvold, former Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft famously said that “The top software developers are more productive than average software developers not by a factor of 10x or 100x or even 1,000x, but by 10,000x.”

Keep your eyes and ears open, and look out for the patterns; eliminate and erase those activities, which consume more resources but give back less output. The Law of Vital Few is waiting for you to get optimized and practically implemented across your life.

What are you waiting for?

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