90/10 SecretAuthor: Catherine Pulsifer, ©2011
We have all heard about the 80/20 rule when it comes to work or business - 20% of what you do actually brings in 80% of the results. If you were to record everything that you did for a day and then looked at what actually brought results, you would find that this rule holds true - only 20% of what you did actually brings real results.
An Extraordinary Focus
So what about the 90/10 rule? Does it mean only 10% of what we do is equal to 90% of results? In order for this rule to apply, you must have extra ordinary focus. And this focus means elimnating distractions, not just from other people, but the things we do to distract ourselves.
"The sun's energy warms the world. But when you focus it through a magnifying glass it can start a fire. Focus is so powerful!" Alan Pariser
Imagine if you only did 10% in a day, but that 10% is very focused. And if you did that for a few days every month, what the results could be? If you are self-employed, I am sure you are saying, no way, not possible. But if you stopped and looked at your business and identified the one thing that you need to do to bring the results you need, and you only did that for a couple of days, you would find that you would have amazing results.
Things That Really Don't Matter
You see, we all get caught up in non trivial things, such as phone calls, emails, checking this and that - but in reality if we were really focused we could achieve so much more.
"There is only one person with whom to compete and that is yourself. Keep aiming to surpass your own best performance and ever strive to reach higher levels." Norman Vincent Peale
If our efforts stayed focused and before every task we ask ourselves how important is this, you would find you could eliminate a lot of tasks. Doing what needs to be done rather than doing all that needs to be done can bring extraordinary results.
Another way to look at this is to identify your peak time. For some people, first thing in the morning is when they accomplish the most. For others, it is early afternoon, and for some it is just before they leave for the day.
"Time is a gift that most of us take for granted. We get so caught up in the busyness of our daily lives that we rarely stop and take a serious look at how we're spending this gift." Cheryl Richardson
The other benefit to us by doing this is reduced stress. When there are a million things to get done, but we focus on the key areas then at the end of the day we ourselves will find less stress because the critical things are done. I can't tell you how often I had this wrong. I would rather check off the things on my list, but the things I were checking off were not the critical things but the things I could do quick and easy. And, then at the end of the day I would be stressed out because the most important thing was still to be done and I had less energy and less enthusiasm to get it done. If I had done this one thing first then my stress levels would have been reduced.
Just identifying this simple thing can make all the difference. For example, if your peak time is in the morning, say the first two hours - then during that time you did the most critical thing that will make a difference in your work. Try it, do it for just a week and see the difference it makes.
To Find Success
So if we were to define success in the least amount of time, this is what we would do:
- Identify your peak time.
- Identify the one main thing in your job or your business that would have the highest impact
For one week, during your peak time, do that one main thing. Do this every day for five days and you will not have to even think about the 80/20 rule, or the 90/10 secret. You will find that your secret will be that you focus during your peak performance time of the day.
Read the wisdom of David DeNotaris, "I once heard someone say that success is not hocus pocus but focus focus." Focus is a core principle of success. You can be busy doing many things, but if these things are not focused on your end result then you truly are just doing hocus pocus.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"Talent is the result of hard work and focus; it is not an innate gift. People are capable of growth in pretty much every trait and ability. What one person can do, so can you." Joe Gaebel
"Every single one of us has a reason to manage our daily time. Managing what we do and when we do them is important in making our lives less chaotic." Stephen Hall
"Most people are focused on managing their time. When they really need to be focused on managing their energy." Alex Altman
"There are numerous ways to help yourself concentrate more effectively on those things that really matter, and always remember that attention is like any other skill: the more you do it, the better you become at it." Debeena Harris
"Discipline simply means staying focused on chipping away at the identified tasks you need to complete in order to eventually realize your goals and achieve success." Jonathan Mills
"Some people think that they can have more things done when they do things simultaneously. Our minds, however, cannot focus on two things at one time." John Morgan
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