About 10 years ago, a kind of famous author marketed this idea that people only need to work a few hours a week and they can enjoy all the freedom they want.
He pictured this fantasy of travelling around the world all year long while working on your laptop. He sparked imagination about the nice idea of doing what you love and earning a living. He painted this wonderful image that everyone can become a millionaire easily.
Without getting into any arguments, he did make the 80/20 Rule (The Pareto Principle) famous when he talked about getting things done.
You probably have heard of such rule right? It is still being rehashed million times by those self-help teachers around the world as if it's a magic bullet to personal productivity.
In short, the Pareto Principle says that 20% of what we do is responsible for 80% of the results we produce.
So all the other 80% of your "to-dos" are merely low-leverage, low-value, low-dollar activities that are yielding you a meagre 20% of total results. Therefore, we should always focus on completing the major 20% important tasks first before we consider investing energy in the unproductive 80% minor things.
What are low-leverage tasks? Well, things like:
- Checking and replying emails first thing when you start working
- Doing your household work like cooking, cleaning, washing clothes if you were a stay-at-home laptop entrepreneur
- Allowing Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram notifications to distract you
- Reading negativity-filled newspaper or watching IQ-lowering television programs
- Letting your phones reside besides you while you're working so they it can buzz you anytime
- Arranging unimportant staff meetings to kill everyone's productivity in the morning
- And a lot more...
These low leverage activities shall never be touched until the high leverage tasks have been completed such as:
- Creating amazing contents (articles, audio recordings, video tutorials) for your audience
- Completing your morning success ritual so you put yourself in the peak energy state to crush your day
- Nurturing your mind with inspirational books, Ted talks or educational audio books
- Producing great quality products and services for your loyal customers
- Crafting marketing messages so you reach out to more people who are in need of your help
Your job as a high achiever is to always get rid of the 80% stuff that aren't important at all, and commit yourself to NOT do them at all (delegate or delete or outsource), OR do them only after you've accomplished the important 20% ones at the end of the day.
The Pareto Principle is actually super simple, uncluttered and non-mythical. As long as you follow through the process and always do the high-leverage work first, you'll easily double or even triple your productivity.