Sometimes I think if I hear one more person say, “I haven’t had time to . . . ,” I’ll just scream.
That’s absurd. They have the time. You have the time. I have the time. Everybody has the time. We have the same amount of time allotted to Thomas Jefferson, Michaelangelo, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, and Ben Franklin.
It isn’t about your time; it’s about your priorities.
It’s about how you choose to use your time. You can use your time doing things perfectly, and it could be the worst possible use of your time, because those things may not need doing at all.
Or you could concentrate on just a few activities that contribute the most to our life and work goals, accomplishing more in a fraction of the time that we lavish on the superficial tasks that suck up our valuable time, effort, and energy.
The Pareto Principle says that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of the value of your activities. This means that, if you have a list of ten items to accomplish, two of those items will be worth more than the other eight items altogether.
To accomplish great things, you must always concentrate on the small number of activities that contribute the greatest value to your life and your work.
Make a list of the 10 most important things you’d like to accomplish today.
Ask yourself this question about each task on your list: “What are the consequences of not accomplishing this task today?”
Ask yourself this question about each task on your list: “What is the payoff for accomplishing this task?” “Which task has the highest payoff?” “Which has the earliest payoff?”
Now choose the one task on your list that has the greatest potential for doing it now. Concentrate single-mindedly on that task until it is accomplished. Then, repeat this thought process before starting on your next activity.
The value of any activity can be measured by assessing the potential consequences of doing it or not doing it. Something that is important has significant consequences to your life and your career. Something that is unimportant has few or no significant consequences to your life or career. Become a superior thinker by honing your ability to consider possible consequences before you begin.
Continually ask yourself, “What is the most valuable use of my time, right now?” And whatever it is, work on that. Your ability to discipline yourself to work on those few tasks that can make the greatest difference in your life is the key quality that makes everything else possible for you.
Make a list of everything that you do as a part of your job. Now, analyze the list and select the three to five things that are more important than everything else put together.
Work on your highest priority items every minute of the day.
It isn’t about your time. It’s about your priorities. It’s about your decisions.