ParetoI’m sure that you have heard of Pareto’s Principle. The principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In business, the general rule is that 80% of your sales come for 20% of your clients.

When it comes to the things on your agenda, 20% percent of tasks are critical, and 80% percent are trivial. One of the things that I have people do when they work with me is to look at what’s on their agenda so that we can identify which tasks on their list are critical and focus on those, and of course get rid of the trivial stuff.

Simply put, you waste your time on useless activities! Things that aren’t getting you anywhere; things that are keeping you from being productive, which is why you’re reading to this, right? Everybody has their major time suck…interruptions, email, social media. Maybe you know what your time suck is, maybe not, but whatever it is, it’s zapping your level of productivity. If you don’t know, it’s time to find out and do something about it.

The rule applies in another way too…80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. You may not be getting the results that you want, but what you’re getting is a direct result of where you’re putting your energy. You have to ask yourself, what do you need to be doing? What is it that needs to get done but you don’t seem to have enough time for? It’s time to focus your efforts on the results that you want. If you’ve got a major project that needs to be finished, think about the efforts you need to put forth. Let’s say you want to roll out a new program for your clients, what efforts do you need to engage in? It definitely can’t be the usual time suck, like the interruptions, email, social media, or whatever it might be for you. You have to shift your energy from what’s killing your time to the things that are going to generate results. If that program is going to get launched, if you’re going to get people enrolled in it, or get people to purchase it, what do you have to focus your efforts on? That can be a lot of work, and if it’s to be done timely, you have to focus and give your time to it to make it happen. Your efforts have to go toward the results that you want with regard to that program.

Look at the outcomes you want to see if you’re doing the right things and if not, where your time has to go instead. Depending on the things you do or what you give your time to some elements contribute to the outcomes you want and others contribute to the outcomes that you don’t want. Be sure that you’re allocating time doing more beneficial things.

If you’re not getting the results that you want, it’s time for an assessment of where your time is going. Then make that shift so that you start getting the results that you’re looking for.