The argument at the heart of chapter three is that within “high achievement” lies a really focused approach to resolving issues of time wasting.
Siimon applies the Pareto principle – commonly known as the 80/20 rule. This rule is generally associated with sayings such as “80% of your revenue is generated by 20% of your clients” or “80% of the results come from 20% of the actions” … and so it is with time; 80% of your time is spent doing “stuff” that doesn’t matter and 20% of the work you do produces 80% of your value. Therefore, by concentrating all day on that important 20% – you can literally gain a 400% increase in productivity. That represents a hell of a wow factor to think if you can remember to apply some of Siimons tips and avoid the traps.
If you accept that 80% of what you do each day is unimportant, rush through it to the finish. Don’t attempt perfection, nor finesse and strive to finish without having to leave and return. Do you have trouble deciding what to tackle first? Try this set of priorities; Do what you love, delegate the unimportant, the things you are not good at and delegate what you don’t enjoy doing.
That’s easier said than done in micro-businesses, so Siimon produces a few more tips; Try the two minute rule: That is anything that can be done in two minutes – like replying to emails, gets done immediately, the rest prioritise. Using simple priority mechanisms like A, B, and C: This means the A’s are there because they are vital to business value, they represent really important and valuable tasks for the business. B is important but not so valuable and C is relatively unimportant.
Being organised is being logical, avoiding interruptions, trying to block the day into ten minute task lots and placing emphasis on a work environment that helps not hinders you.
Finally, Siimon wins me with his golden rule “plan”. Planning is important even if taken to the extent of putting aside fifteen minutes at the conclusion of each day to put in position a plan for the activities of tomorrow.
The “to do” list for small businesses according to Siimon should now contain “Hire an assistant.” Think about it; if the average business owner spends just 20% doing the value adding things – 80% of the work is not! If you could be doing the 20% of the work time after time, the stuff that really brings the value into the business, getting some-one else to do the other 80% of the “stuff” seems simple. Hiring the assistant is the most logical and intelligent next step.
So few people plan what they are going to do because we are so focused on the technical “do, do, do and do faster”. Stop, think it through, the goal, the action, and what success looks like.