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  • Katharina Faber


I am sure we’ve all heard about it. 20% of our efforts cause 80% of the results. Become a master at ruthlessly prioritizing the few things that matter and cut out everything else. Here is how you can align your efforts to the 80/20 rule: 1) Determine your true values.You don’t want your goals end up feeling empty. However, this often happens when you prioritize without having clear values. Without your north star, you set goals that aren’t really your goals. It is so much harder (or even impossible) to achieve other people’s goals 2) Determine your true goals. You don’t want your daily tasks to become overwhelming and don’t want to focus on urgent tasks that have a short-term payoff. This will make you feel good but won’t help you in the long run. This is why you should set value based goals. 3) Set aside time for prioritization. 15 minutes daily, 1 hour weekly, 3 hours quarterly, 1 day yearly. 4) Make a list of everything you have to do. I once heard someone say that putting things on a list is taking away time from actually doing the things. I sincerely disagree. Knowing what and how much I want to achieve helps me plan my day and helps me prioritize. 5) Circle the top 20% of priorities that will give you 80% of the results. This will help you determine the things that really matter. 6) Practice the 80/20 rule like you would any other skill. You don’t do it once for this exercise and then forget about it. Every time your set priorities, make sure you apply this rule. 7) Identify the single most important priority. Out of your five priorities that you’ve identified, which item is the most important one? 8) Do your “one thing” first. You want to work on your main priority when you have the most energy and the least distractions. For most of us, that is right in the morning when our day starts. If you leave your one thing for a time where you know you’ll be distracted, it probably won’t get done. 9) Collect and measure metrics primarily on your “one thing”. Which metrics really matter? Identify those and focus on them religiously. When you do this, your mind will default to maximizing these important metrics. 10) Put everything else on your “avoid-at-all-cost” list. No matter what, these things get no attention until you have succeeded with your main priority and your other top four priorities. 11) Create a post-mortem for your “avoid-at-all-cost” list. By being aware of potential obstacles and distractions before they happen, we drastically increase the odds of avoiding. If you want to learn more about this, look into the WOOP method. 12) Practice saying no. Really successful people say no to most things. This creates focus for the things that really matter to you. 13) Stay accountable.This can be a checking in with yourself (if you’re naturally intrinsically motivated) or checking in with others (if you’re more externally motivated).

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