So what is the 80/20 rule anyway?
Basically, it the principle that 80% of our effects come from 20% of our causes. Every cause has an effect. It can be applied to anything, but applying it to business is this: Every result in your business has a cause.
So if we look at our big wins, accomplishments, and results, you will likely see that they came from 20% of your efforts (causes).
I heard about this years ago, but never really had a quick, targeted way to figure it out.
This is where Kate Northrup’s exercise comes in.
In her book, Doing Less, she suggests taking a fresh sheet of paper and drawing a line down the middle. On the left, list all of your current daily activities. Then once complete, on the right, list all of your big wins, accomplishments and results pertaining to your business. Once both sides are complete, look at the list of achievements on the right, and draw a line from each one to the activity on the left responsible for bringing it to fruition. And voila! That’s it. You will then directly see what activities created those results. You will probably see you’re spending a whole lotta time being busy 😉
So…what can you do about it?
Well you can first see if they are even activities you need to be doing. If they are important on some level, then you can look at delegating or getting some type of support. If you’re not in a place in your business to afford support – let’s get you there! What is your goal and how can you work toward achieving it every day? While you’re working on hiring someone, how can you get support now? Maybe it’s trading services (although be sure you both charge one another your full value so you’re not coming from a place of lack), or come up with some other crafty solution.
The idea is that you spend more time doing the 20% responsible for growing your business. This also applies to customers and clients. 20% of your customers are responsible for 80% of your revenue. So how can you grow that 20%? Check put John Assaraf’s book The Answer for more on that.
What I also love in Northrup’s book, is that she suggests doing this exercise for parenting and your relationship with your significant other too! Genius! On the left is all of your daily activities that are a part of parenting / being married – do it separately for both though. On the right are your biggest wins, i.e. having fun, being at peace, feeling connected, etc. Whatever is important to you.
Can I just say all of the “managing” I do with the kids has not led to peace, fun or connection (my wins)!!! I am going to work on letting go more and focusing on what actually brings the feelings I’m going for, while trusting them to get their own business squared away 😉 Whoo hoo!