Commentary by Dr. Whitesel. A good friend of mine and former president of our seminary Dr. Wayne Schmidt (and now the superintendent of our denomination) told me that another megachurch pastor gave him this advice: “Do your most important work when you have the most energy.”
This article points out a corollary principle, and that is that some things have some of the greatest impact on your overall success. The author does so by a unique and interesting thesis. Take a look.
Forget the 80-20 Rule. Follow the 1-50 Rule Instead: A tiny fraction of your highest-value work produces half of all your results by David Finke, Inc. Magazine, 9/17/19.
…If you’ve read anything on time management, you’ve come across Pareto’s Principle, inspired by the work of 19th-century economist Vilfredo Pareto. Commonly called the “80-20 Rule,” Pareto’s Principle states that 20 percent of your actions generate 80 percent of your results (high value) and 80 percent of your actions generate the other 20 percent of your results (low value). We have all been taught to focus on the 20 percent that generates the high-value work…but there is more that we can do.
With my coaching clients I have taken this idea and further refined it to create something that I share in detail in my latest book, The Freedom Formula.
The Math (Stick with Me)
If you take the 20 percent of your actions that generate 80 percent of your results and apply the 80-20 rule to it a second time, then 20 percent of that 20 percent produces 80 percent of 80 percent of your results. That means 4 percent of your effort (the 20 percent of 20 percent) generates 64 percent of your results (80 percent of 80 percent).
…Hang in here with me for one more math moment and apply the 80-20 rule one final time. That means that just 1 percent of your effort (20 percent of 20 percent of 20 percent) generates 50 percent of your results!
That’s right–a tiny fraction of your highest-value work produces half of all your results.
No, this is not an exact science. Nor does this just work automatically. But Pareto’s Principle illustrates a valuable point: All time is not valued equally. An hour or two of your best time on Tuesday may have produced a far greater return than 30 to 40 hours of the low-value tasks you “checked off” on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
The 1 Percent that Matters
I encourage all business owners to choose one day a week where they block three to four hours out of their day to focus on the 1 percent that produces 50 percent of their results. Turn your cell phone off, shut down your email client, and work on the A-level tasks and projects that really matter. Avoid distractions and other people’s “fires,” and you will soon begin to see the power that comes with upgrading your time.
And once you have a handle on the top 1 percent of your task list, teach your key team members to do the same with their time, and watch your business grow exponentially.