According to the Pareto principle, 20% of what we do brings 80% of results. The principle also applies in the professional world.

We all have barriers that keep us in a comfort zone. Let’s see how to identify and focus on the more valuable tasks.


Defining the value of tasks

There are three ways to evaluate a task’s results:

  • Does a task bring you some immediate revenue?
  • Does a task help you to achieve you vision?
  • Does a task bring you some knowledge?

If you cannot answer Yes to one of those questions, you’re probably spending your time on a task that is not valuable.

For instance, let’s take one hour of work. During this limited time, you can meet a important customer who will bring you lots of work; or do a presentation or seminar that brings you lots of money; or do brainstorming with your management to define a business strategy. On the other hand, you could go to the postal office to send your daily mail, or go to the office shop to buy paper for your printer.

The task values and ROI (Return On Investment) are totally different, so regarding time management, it may be valuable to delegate certain tasks.


How to be a good “time investor”?

We all have the same amount of time, and “time is money.” I like to talk to myself as an investor and ask,

“On which task am I going to invest today? What will be the return on investment?”

Once you’ve set personal and professional goals, apply these few principles:

Acting instead of thinking: I believe that ideas come to mind through practice, so dedicate your work time to doing things.

Focusing: Despite what many believe, our mind can successfully perform only one task at a time. Being able to focus on one task during a limited period of time without any distraction helps you to achieve you goal.

Idea development: I believe new ideas are unpredictable. Nevertheless, there are things we can do to motivate idea development. Brainstorming, collective intelligence meetings – such as Mastermind – or even meditation might help you to develop new, valuable ideas.


Pareto principle

By applying the Pareto principle recursively, 4% of what we do could bring 64% of results, and 1% of what we do could bring 50% of results.

So what if you set aside less-valuable tasks for the next two weeks and focus on the more-valuable tasks? What results could you expect?


Two kind of high value task

Things that you’ve already done: Think about things you already know how to do and that provide lots of result. Next, think about how you could perform tasks in a more industrial manner. Will your customers be willing to pay more for your new, high-value product or service?

Strategic thing you’ve ever done before: Unfortunately, We all tend to do things that come naturally and are comfortable instead of doing things that could be more value. Let’s change it. Ask yourself: What things do I not know but would like to do, things that could bring revenue, knowledge, or personal satisfaction? Set aside two hours this week to work on this goal.


Let’s do a very profitable exercise together

Pause your life for five minutes and write answers to the following question: During the last year, what tasks brought me the most profits, knowledge, or vision values? Now, check your diary and compare what you do on a regular basis. Over the next weeks, try to do only 20% of the task that proved most productive. If you do it right, the results will really blow your mind.

Let me know how the exercise worked for you. Until then, let me share my own tasks that bring me the best results.