Are you in charge of your life or is life in charge of you? That can seem like a silly question but the truth is – many times we run around handling things, situations and people that are not on our planed list. They are not even on the radar of what is important to us. At the beginning of a new year, some people make “New Year’s Resolutions”- unfortunately by now, many people are beating themselves up for resolutions that have already been broken. In this article we will take a look at one of the ways we can set ourselves up to succeed in the areas that are most important to us.
Are you familiar with the 80/20 rule? It is also known as Pareto’s Principle. It states that 20% of what we do produces 80% of the results. Need a few examples?
20% of the area in our houses require 80% of the cleaning
20% of your clients or projects require 80% of your time
80% of free time is spent on things that only provide 20% or less of desired results
It’s important to remind ourselves not to get bogged down on low-value activities that are not that important to us and instead stay focused on high-value 20%!
Our goals, faith, dreams, desires, morals, and families – those are the important things in the grand scheme of life. While we are not always in a position to spend all of our time directly on the things that are the most important to us – we can consciously choose to give those important things, those high payoff items – decicated time. What we must do is find the high payoff tasks and work on those first or at a minimum schedule time to ensure they get done.
Tips for High Payoff Items
Set a time for completing the task. Saying I will go on a date with my husband is not good enough. Setting a date, time and making arrangements increases the chances that you will accomplish this high payoff item.
Set a deadline. Is there something essential that needs repair or attention? Is it causing a bottleneck in productivity? Do you keep saying you will get to it yet you don’t? Give yourself a deadline. Either make that deadline or explore other options for getting the job done.
Need an example? Let’s say the garbage disposal is broken. It’s causing a slow drain and smells in the kitchen. Your wife has been waiting for its repair but it is slowing her down. Your might think – just scrape the food in the trash, and use the other sink – however there is more at play here. Unless you do things the same way she does with the same frequency you may not understand the build of trash, the mess that must be cleaned from leaky bags the children helped empty or the dog ripped into. If it’s important to your spouse –it needs to be important to you. Keeping your word sends the messages – you are important to me, and you can count on me.
Divide and conquer. Some tasks are so large they are easy to keep putting off. Have you committed to a special project with your child? Break the project into smaller steps that require less time. Example- did you promise to redo a room or build something but the room is a wreck? Tasks to be done together in smaller chunks of time might include designing the project, selecting colors, cleaning, organizing, etc. You don’t have to dedicate a whole weekend (while you could) when you do it little by little.
You don’t have to beat yourself up or give up on the things that are important to you. Decide to focus on what’s important to you by giving those high payoff items the time they deserve!
Love and blessings,