The 80/20 principle
Updated: Nov 19, 2019
The #1 productivity hack for your business
In The ONE Thing Gary Keller discusses the 80/20 Principle in detail. It’s a productivity concept that can be applied to many things in life, including your workload. The principle states that 20 percent of what you do produces 80 percent of your results. Getting more done in the day and getting bigger results is all about focusing on that 20 percent. But what about the other 80 percent?
Some of it can be left undone, which is part of embracing the chaos that comes with focusing on your ONE Thing. Since you only have 24 hours in a day, the rest of the 80 percent needs to be delegated to others.
5 Steps to Hiring Others That Can Handle the 80 Percent
Leveraging the efforts of others is a game changer for business owners and managers. When others take the busy work off your hands, you’re able to put more time and attention into the 20 percent that really makes a difference. It may take a period of trial and error, but once you have assembled a solid team you’ll get more done while doing less.
Step 1 – Know what is in your 80 percent and what is in your 20 percent.
Identifying the 20 percent portion of the equation is easier than many people think. It’s as simple as taking your crowded to-do list and pairing it back. Focus on all the tasks that you absolutely should do in a day. These priorities make up your 20 percent. Everything else falls into the “could do” category, and that’s the 80 percent.
Step 2 – Look for tools to take some of the work off your hands.
Automation is a beautiful thing. Before hiring anyone, look for tools and devices that can help you handle some of the 80 percent. Focus on those items that can run on autopilot once they are set up so you don’t have to spend much time managing them.
Step 3 – Break down the remaining 80 percent.
Once you’ve filtered out the 80 percent tasks that can be handled by tools you’re left with the work that’s going to be delegated to others. Taking the time to thoroughly assess these tasks will help you nail the critical next step. Is this work around the office or personal errands? Does it require a special expertise? How closely will you work with others on the tasks? Can you train someone to take on more specialised tasks?
These types of questions will help you identify the type of position that you need to hire and the credentials that are needed to get the work done so you won’t have to provide much oversight.
Step 4 – Find the right people.
It’s important to find people that are well suited for the 80 percent work. If not, their work becomes your work again, which will only distract you from your 20 percent. When you leverage people with the right strengths and skill-sets, things will get done more efficiently than even you could do them. That not only minimises the cost of hiring someone else, it will also improves the results.
Step 5 – Evaluate the benefits of leveraging employees.
Hiring people is a balancing act for your bottom line. Every employee must help you earn more money than they actually make. In a previous post we broke down the financial considerations of hiring a personal assistant. Those same considerations apply to the other employees that you hire.At the end of the day the pay has to be less than the value the employee produces or things won’t balance out.
If you are putting all your time and energy into the 20 percent but the results don’t cover the cost of your hired help, then you need to both reevaluate your priority list as well as the work being done by the people that you’re leveraging. It could be an issue of giving them more training or better tools to increase their production and productivity, but it might also mean that you’ve simply hired the wrong person for the job.
The qualitative benefits should also be factored in during this evaluation. If you have more time in the day to spend with your family or less stress, these are things of value that should factor into your consideration.
The 80/20 Principle plays a role in basically everything we do at work. Once you start applying the principle, the benefit of leveraging employees becomes abundantly clear. People are by far the most valuable assets we have in business. Knowing what work to delegate and who to delegate it to will have a dramatic impact on your productivity.
Want to learn more on how to build a successful career and life through productivity and leverage? Get in contact with us today.