Friday, January 10, 2014

80% of the results come from 20% of the effort.

It is truly possible to spend the majority of your time doing the things that you love. The only way to get there is taking Pareto’s 80/20 principle seriously. It will make all the difference.

When applied to work, productivity will go through the roof, but when applied to your life outside of work, happiness and fulfillment do just the same. All it takes is a shift in thinking. Try the following for a few weeks and the time in your life will never be the same.

1. Do the 20% of your work that leads to 80% of your results: Track all the time you spend on projects each hour of each day for a week. How many of these things were necessary? How many got you closer to your goals? How many were a waste of time? How many could someone else have done? Pick the 20% of your tasks that yield 80% of the results and outsource or simply discontinue the rest. Wondering what to do with your remaining time? Enjoy life. Once you start outsourcing, you’ll never go back.

2. Locate the 20% of your customers who drive 80% of your profits: Find your top 20% customers (by profit, not revenue) and fire the rest. Yes, fire them. The goal is not to work your life away. It is to make a good living to enjoy your life. If you must work more, then list out the characteristics of your 20% customers and go out and find more of them. You will not believe how liberating it can be to fire a customer who’s been a real pain in the ass.

3. Prioritize the 20% of your friends who provide 80% of your support and enjoyment: If you apply 80/20 to your relationships you will surely find that a few people in your life provide the majority of your support, excitement, laughter and feelings of connection. On the other side, there is likely another 20% group of people who account for most your sleepless nights, tears, anger and frustration. If you don’t want to feel this way, stop spending time around your bottom 20. Fire them and work on duplicating your top 20. This may sound a little callous, but it’s not. It’s practical. The quality of our life comes down to the quality of the people and experiences that fill it.

4. Fill your life with the 20% of your experiences that provide 80% of your happiness: As humans, our two biggest priorities are to move towards pleasure and away from pain. As mentioned above, find the few people, things, places and experiences that provide 80% of your happiness, fulfillment, pleasure and excitement. Also find the things that cause you to feel the majority of your negative emotions. Focus your time on the top 20% and avoid the bottom 20% like the plague.

5. Do the 20% of your workouts that lead to 80% of your physical gains: The majority of fitness results come from a small portion of most workouts. 80% of the muscle is built in the last 20% of the reps.  Spending more time on something is not always a good thing. If you believe your workouts must take an hour then you’ll likely miss a lot more of them. What if they only took 7 minutes, but that seven minutes really tested your limits? You’re likely to show up a lot more often.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Its time to do something rather than sitting in couch

“Great minds have purposes, others have wishes.”

Washington Irving

1. Travel. Take off and get as far out of town as possible. Go alone or grab someone close and just explore. Get out for as long as you can. At least a few weeks but ideally a few months or even a year. You’d be surprised how much cheaper many places are around the world than your hometown and regular fixed cost-filled routine.

2. Check out a meditation retreat. Have you ever felt what it’s like to sit and do nothing for a few hours, a day, or a week or more on end? Now that life has finally slowed down, take some time to embrace it.

Check out spots around your area. If you want to get really into doing nothing, pick a silent retreat. It’s time to get in touch with parts of our minds and bodies that have long gone neglected.

3. Write. Buy a journal or open up a blank doc on your computer and begin to write what comes to mind. Make it a daily routine. Better yet do it on your meditation/travel adventure. Start in the morning when your mind is clear and take notes throughout the day as things come to mind. Maybe you’ll come back to what you wrote. Maybe you won’t. What matters is you start to reflect. The key is to constantly get your ideas out of your head. Only then will you be able to make real sense of them.

4. Do a cleanse or take on a physical challenge. Do something you haven’t done but have always wondered about. Maybe a Master Cleanse, a juice fast, eating vegan and raw for a few weeks or half or full marathon. Push yourself. See how you feel. Write down some thoughts as the experience unfolds.

5. Get inspired. Surround yourself with people you admire or go off all alone with your favorite music or motivating movies. Pick anything that’s been on your list or you know will get you inspired. Take note of where your mind takes you.

6. Dream. When was the last time you sat down and dreamed huge, without someone telling you were crazy? Go out in nature, maybe lie out on your back and stare at the clouds. Think of the craziest biggest (and smallest) dreams you’ve ever imagined.

What did you use to imagine before the world told you it wasn’t possible? Go back to your days as a five-year-old if you must. Write everything down. No filtering. Notice how it feels.

7. Learn about yourself. Learn with no expectation and no agenda. Realize you have the biggest opportunity in the world.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Dare to be

In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe-Michael Jackson 

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.
When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.
When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.
When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.
When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.
When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.
When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.
When times are tough, dare to be tougher.
When love hurts you, dare to love again.
When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.
When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.
When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.
When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.
When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.
When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.
Dare to be the best you can – At all times, Dare to be!