One of the easiest things to achieve right now is to be busy. If that’s your goal then you’ll experience that feeling of achievement daily. You can cross that task off your to-do–list with glee! Being busy creates the sensation of forward motion. I mean when you are flat out doing stuff, have back-to-back meetings, working late hours and doing it all again the next day you’ve got to be really kicking some goals right?
There’s a great saying by Jim Rohn, “Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what?”
In general, we all want to do more with the time we have. However, many of us can get consumed by the feeling of being busy rather than doing what is purposeful for us. Because that is when things get difficult. Prioritising your time in a way that allows you to focus on what is important and achieve growth both personally and professionally and to look after yourself is a challenge. So busy can become the excuse that we often believe is totally valid.
In my discussions, with hundreds of people now, about busy there is a key distinction that we uncover when we sit down and evaluate what people are busy doing. That distinction is that they are wasting time on things that don’t matter and it can be a significant amount of time, though they will proclaim quite loudly that they are busier than anyone else. The other distinction is – the runs are not on the board. In other words – they are not getting the results for their efforts.
This leads me back to the old 80/20 rule. You will have heard of this principle and it will likely have been related back to your client base. It’s common that 20% of your clients will contribute 80% of your sales. You need to know who that 20% is and nurture them, so you can leverage from them and attract more like them so you can grow.
If we equate the same principle to time, this means 20% of what you spend your time doing will contribute 80% of your results. Of course, what you spend that 20% of your time doing will be the key to this working! So if you can identify the key actions or the most powerful actions that will get you 80% of your results by spending 20% of your time on then you’ve hit on a winning formula. And all we are talking about is 20% of your time! And once you’ve nailed it, you can leverage it.
We have the tendency to build busy up to be something that is unavoidable, unmanageable and inevitable. When in fact it’s not al all. It’s manageable, controllable and a choice if you decide to think a lot smarter about it.
So to ensure you motion does lead to progress, ask yourself this: What are the most powerful actions you need to be doing with 20% of your time and how can you leverage it?