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Pareto in the Office
Two things that business people find very challenging: thinking ahead and doing things in order of importance.
Doing these two things makes the difference between success in business and just surviving. And the same is true for all areas of our lives.
Most people have heard of the Pareto Principle, more commonly known as the 80/20 Principle. Roughly stated this says that in most businesses 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers.
Other examples of the Pareto Principle are:
Reading: 20 percent of the book contains 80 percent of the content.
Job: 20 percent of our work gives us 80 percent of our satisfaction.
Products: 20 percent of the products bring in 80 percent of the profits.
Picnic: 20 percent of the people will eat 80 percent of the food!
Hence, 20 percent of a business owner’s priorities will give him 80 percent of his production, if he spends his time, energy, money and personnel on the top 20 percent of his priorities.
When you do this, you can get a 400 percent or fourfold return in productivity!
Prioritizing takes brain power, so do it first thing in the morning when you are fresh. This means BEFORE you even check email! Don’t let your email or facebook activity determine your priority list. Make your to do list and then circle the three tasks that are most important for the health and growth of your business. Start working immediately on one of these. Do what you need to do to allocate time and money to these top priorities.
It’s OK to have 80% of your “to do” list undone at the end of the day as long as those are the lower priority items. At the start of each day, reevaluate the priorities and keep concentrating on the top 20% each day and you’ll see a positive change.
Taking the time to identify your priorities will make a world of difference if you then concentrate on just the top 20%.
What is your top priority? Make a list and identify only 20% of the items as highest priority. And now spend 80% of your day on those items.
I truly believe that having one’s priorities in place can boost one’s productivity and personal satisfaction and make your business grow to its full potential.