Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the 80/20 rule, part of Managing Your Time.
So let's start thinking about what it means to allocate your time more effectively at work everyday. I want to offer three simple ideas that will change how you use your time everyday to make yourself more productive. Now, the first rule is very straightforward. It's something I often call the 80/20 rule. It's a very simple idea. The idea goes like this. All work is not created equal. You have to look at every task, every person, every project, and ask yourself this.
Is this bit of work something that absolutely is interesting and important to the level that it's strategic? That it'll move us forward as a team faster? Or is just work that's gotta be done? That's the 80%. The strategically important stuff, that's the 20%. And if you don't take the time every single moment you engage a new bit of work to ask yourself, is this an 80%er or is this a 20%er. You're libel to spend way too much time over investing in the 80%.
I want to give you a couple of things to think about. You should never invest more than half of your time, 50% in the 80% pile. If you ever feel pressure to spend too much time on that pile of work you just gotta do, but you know it's not strategically important, here's what you need to start thinking about. How can you automate? Outsource or delegate that work? Automate it. Is there some tool you can use like Microsoft Excel or maybe Access to make that thing go faster every time you have to do it.
Or delegate. Maybe there's a direct report or someone on staff that can take care of that. By the way. Delegating could be simple tasks, like putting together a PowerPoint slide. Maybe the first draft could be done by somebody else. Or, you can outsource completely. You might be able to find a vendor that can take care of an interesting number of tasks that you're working on, because that's their core competency and it frees you up to get focused on things that really matter. That's it. That's rule number 1. When you look at work, be intentional, thoughtful, and conscious.
Ask yourself, is this a 20%er or an 80%er? Then you'll start allocating your time more effectively.