What happens when you spread yourself too thin?

-Be more productive by knowing what’s vital.
We often spend too much time on small, unimportant things and forget the big, important ones. We waste time sweating the small stuff while ignoring the game-changers. These strategies are about as bright as chasing fireflies for light while ignoring the blazing sun.

Spreading yourself too thin makes you less effective, creates burnout and increases stress. Everything suffers, from meeting your commitments to the quality of your work to your relationships.

If you want to get the most out of your time and energy, focus on the few vital activities, people and ideas that give you the most return. You can do this in your leadership, career and personal life.

The Pareto Principle or 80/20 Rule.
In the early 1900s, economist Vilfredo Pareto found that around 80% of Italy’s wealth was held by 20% of the people.

His discovery led to the general concept that you increase efficiency by focusing on the areas of least effort that lead to the most results. It’s not always a hard 80/20 rule, as the exact numbers can vary, but the idea remains: Find the small parts that have the most significant impact.

Understanding this principle can help you focus on the most essential tasks, people and thoughts to prioritize your time and resources where they will have the greatest influence.

The 80/20 rule plays out in many aspects of life. On a team, a smaller percentage of people typically contribute the most impactful work. In your daily diet, you likely have a few favorite dishes or ingredients that make up 80% of what you eat.

How to get the most out of the least.
Put the Pareto Principle into action by simply doing the following three things:

Identify what is vital: Pinpoint those key actions, relationships and beliefs that drive the most favorable outcomes. Think about each of these in your career and life that give you the most positive return for the time and effort invested.

Be Intentional: Once you know what is vital, focus more time, effort and resources in these areas. Commit to the 20% that gives you the “blazing sun” and don’t be distracted by the paltry light of fireflies.

Check-in: Everything shifts over time. Create regular checkpoints to evaluate your effectiveness and productivity. Look for any new activities, relationships and ideas that could bring you more return for less effort. Also, as goals change, the essential 20% tasks and relationships you focus on might change.

Pareto secret.
The Pareto Principle helps you recognize the great secret to productivity. You don’t need to do everything. What a relief! Prioritizing the vital few over the trivial many not only lightens your load but also opens doors to meaningful accomplishments.

There’s no need to stretch yourself thin anymore.

Figure out what gives you the most for the least.

And focus on that instead.

Till next week,
Jo-Aynne Von Born, Leadership?Executive Coach

Work Your Authentic Genius.
What actions and relationships are habitual, regardless of the value you get from them? When will you take a closer look to decide if they are part of your 20%?

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