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Few people have a work position that requires them to do only one thing. Most people have job descriptions that require them to perform several different activities. Typically, the higher up the organization chart you move, the more and more of those activities you're likely to have. In particular, business owners seem to have the highest number of different activities to perform. However, of all the different activities that you perform, only a couple of them are truly the most valuable.
How do I define the value of an activity? To me the value of an activity is the amount of money that you would pay someone else to perform the same task at the same quality. That means the activities that would cost you the most per hour to pay someone else to do, those would be your most valuable activities. I sometimes call them MVAs for short. Now when I talk about most valuable activity, keep in mind I am talking about work time only, not you time.
For instance, there's no way to put a value on being a parent or being a friend to someone else. But we can very clearly put a value on what it would cost us to replace certain work activities. All the other activities that you do during work time, other than those two MVAs, are your less valuable activities or LVAs. If you're like most people, you're spending the majority of your work time in these very low value, low impact LVAs.
When I speak to executives, I'll do an on-the-spot poll and ask the audience how much time are they spending in their top two most valuable activities. And consistently, I find that the average executive spends less than 20% of their time in their most valuable activities. This is significant, because what it means is that while they have the capacity to do work that is worth several hundred dollars per hour, instead they're choosing to spend the majority of their time in activities that are worth much, much less.
In order to achieve maximum results during the limited amount of work time that you have each week, you need to focus your actions on your most valuable activities. In this next section, I'll take you through a process that will help you discover your top two most valuable activities and create a time budget to make sure you spend appropriate amounts of time on them each week.
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