The 80/20 rule -- you get 80% of your results from 20% of your efforts.

It’s a real thing, and almost everyone has heard about it.

But do you live it?

If you did, how much would it simplify your life?

If you make one resolution for 2018, make it this: Focus more on your 20

This can apply to any area of your life.

Personal Life

Want to make exercise part of your life this year? Focus on your 20. If you’re not exercising at all, your 20 is probably just doing something every day. That will get you 80% of your results. You can spend a lot more time worrying about exactly what to do or how long to do it or what to wear while you’re doing it or who will do it with you – and all that thinking and worrying might get you incrementally better results. But 80% of your results will come from the 20 – just getting up and doing something.

Professional Life

If you’re a manager, you might have specific goals for your team. What would focusing on your 20 look like there? Try our Human Investment Planning Exercise to see how you’re spending your time with the people on your team right now. When you’ve filled in both columns, draw a line from Column 1 to Column 2 connecting the same person’s name. If you wind up with a lot of X’s as you draw lines, you’re not focusing on your 20. What would happen if you did?

What do you want to achieve this year?

  • Spend a few minutes thinking about your 20 for that goal, keeping in mind that your 20 might be very different from someone else’s 20, even if you both have the same goal.
  • Define specific investments you will make in your 20 and schedule specific time to focus on your 20.
  • Don’t let the tyranny of the urgent (even if it takes up 80% of your time) deter you from focusing on your 20.
  • Try it for 30 days.
  • Let us know what you learn.

Kim Turnage, Ph.D. works as a Senior Leadership Consultant for Talent Plus and with her colleague Larry Sternberg is author of Managing to Make a Difference. She writes regularly on leadership and everything that goes along with it. Find more of her work here.

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