Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Day 8 Challenge - 80/20 Rule & Quadrant 2

According to the Pareto Principle, the 80-20 rule states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. It is a common rule of thumb: 20% of our inputs lead to 80% of our outputs. This applies to everything around us, including the tasks on our to-do lists. It is often stated that the 80-20 principle is the secret to success in life by achieving more with less.

We should constantly ask ourselves, what are the tasks that give long-term results & benefits? If you list all your tasks, you’ll find only about 20% of your tasks contribute to 80% of your value output. The 20% high-value tasks reside in the Quadrant 2 of the Time Management Grid, coined by Stephen Covey, the author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", which represents things that are important, but not urgent. The activities in Quadrant 2 contribute to achieving the goals and priorities of our life.

This quote from Stephen Covey sums up how we can best use our time : "I am personally persuaded that the best thinking in the area of time management can be captured in a single phrase : Organize and execute around priorities."

The action point that I have given myself on day 8 of this 30 Day Challenge is to invest more of my energy in areas that are most important (ie: 20% high value Quadrant 2 activities), including quality time in focussing on tasks which contribute to my goals, dreams, creating long-term plans, building relationships with loved ones, devotional & prayer time, family time, personal relaxation, fun & recreation, and things that have an impact in my life, and making a difference to people.

Upon reflection, I have also realised that when I’m unconscious of how I spend my time, I tend to spend time on many 80% low value tasks, because they are usually easier to do, and more urgent. However, this are rarely important activities which will make an impact in the long run.

How much time do you usually spend on each quadrant of the time management grid, 20% high value tasks and 80% low value tasks? Are you willing to commit with me to focus on 20% tasks & Quadrant 2 activities from now on?


Anonymous said...

great challenge and great post. I tend to spend time on procrastinating, so 80% low value tasks like surfing the net, facebook, tv etc. about time to change that....
now 20% & quadrant 2.


Kitty said...

I know what you mean Simon. I need to start focusing more on 20% high value tasks and quadrant 2 activities as well. I guess it's easy for us to get into 80% tasks because they seem more pressing or urgent, but in essence quadrant 2 activities are more important! :) x

Anonymous said...

unfortunately this often requires a change of mindset. most ppl feel they have achieved a lot in quadrants 1 and 3