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Planning and Executing: Time Management and The 80/20 Rule

When it comes to time management, I’m a massive advocate for planning your week ahead! I have read so many books about the Pareto Principle, and how to plan your day effectively. 


The problem is that so many people are doing this in their work lives, but they’re not doing it in their private lives! There are all these entrepreneurs working their asses off, but they fail to maintain their friendships and other relationships. They’re struggling with their partners, and many of them have even gotten a divorce after their kids have moved out — which is often the hardest period, as it’s the most “empty”.


The reason for this is because they’re not making time to take care of their body, their mental health, or maintain their overall wellbeing! So, you need to put your private and personal life in first. Put in your gym in such a way where you can do things smartly. For example, I built my own gym at home — of course I still have my private personal trainer at another gym nearby — but I built and set up my own weights at home. Why? Because it really saves me time. A lot of my work is done on a laptop — because I have my staff online spread all over the world. This way I have a table right next to my gym, and I can maintain threads.


So what I mean when I say I’m maintaining threads is that I’m managing people and giving out directions throughout the day — this can easily be done on a laptop. It can be done with 1-2 minute sets in between chatting for one minute. And it saves time! Yes, it takes me 15 minutes to get up, dressed, and ready; and 15 minutes to walk over to my gym nearby; but then it takes me another 15 minutes to get home and switch back to my “inside clothes” etc.


So if you look at the time management of working out every single day; there’s no doubt that over a week, month, or even a year — this can add up to a lot of time drained away!


On the other hand, if I’m at home, I pretty much just shave this off! The gym is right here; it’s directly in my office! I do my workout while I’m working, so I’m more productive. When I’m working out at the gym, obviously I can’t do that as effectively because I’m away from home and am around my personal trainer.


Bill Gates used to cram his calendar, until he learned from Warren Buffett not to do so — because he needs these crucial personal moments! “You know, I had every minute packed and I thought that was the only way you could do things,” says Gates. But, he says, Buffett taught him the importance of giving yourself time to think. Bill Gates enjoys going out into nature in order to obtain inspiration.


“You control your time,” says Gates. “Sitting and thinking may be a much higher priority than a normal CEO, where there’s all these demands and you feel like you need to go and see all these people. It’s not a proxy of your seriousness that you fill every minute in your schedule.”

“I better be careful with it. There is no way I will be able to buy more time,” says Buffett.


Billionaire serial entrepreneur Richard Branson feels the same. He believes that being intentional about taking time away from your to-do list assists you in setting ambitious goals. Bransons contends: “Open your calendar and schedule time just to dream.”


This time is super important. When you’re doing something at a high-performance level — either it’s sports or entrepreneurship (they’re basically the same) — it takes a toll on you. It’s tough; it’s hard. You have nobody to ask except for advisors around you; so you’re a lot more alone. You can’t take vacations (especially not in the beginning), so it’s really a tough sport. Which means the balance of making time for meditation, and these daily or morning habits that I put in place, is critical.


The truth is that most people are actually not aware of their time. Often they’re not aware of what they’re spending their time on. They’re just reacting through life randomly, without a purposeful plan. 


This is one of the massive differences I have seen in how I work and in how others work. And I was the same back when I was an employee, too! I honestly never thought about it!


Planning is essentially all about controlling what you’re going into with the right order of priorities; rather than just randomly starting your week without a game plan.


Quit “talking”, and learn how to use your 24 hours effectively! It’s all about maximizing your time — working smart and hard.


There’s a well-known quote by Steve Jobs that goes: “Ideas are worthless, productivity is worth millions.”


Let me tell you the main difference between the ultra rich and your average person: how they spend their time. Time is an asset, but most people don’t realise that it’s more important than any other asset out there. Time is non-renewable. And for the ultra-rich, it’s the most valuable.


So, how do the wealthiest people spend their most valuable asset, their precious time? 


Are they checking emails, constantly micromanaging their employees, managing their social media accounts, and taking control of other “low-level” tasks that could be outsourced or delegated to others?


The answer is plain to see — they don’t. Millionaires, and billionaires, don’t spend their time on activities that won’t yield them great results. In fact, by wasting time on these “small chores”, they may even lose money.


Being busy does NOT equal being productive. Being “busy” is easy. Our lives are full of distractions and there are literally hundreds of small tasks we could do that could eat up our entire day.


Too many people just set out and “react” to things that happen during the day. Successful people, on the other hand, “command” their day.


So, let’s get one thing straight: effective multitasking is a myth. Pre-planning, time blocking in your calendar, and task prioritisation will get you very far! Not all tasks are of equal importance — they all have a business value vs. a cost. In my experience, the tasks that “shout” at you the most are often the least valuable.


If you are employed right now, you could simply let your 8 work hours pass and aim for nothing but your paycheck at the end of the day. Let’s say, your daily salary is $200. You’ve achieved something, sure, but it’s low-yield. If that’s truly all you want, then you can settle. But that definitely won’t make you a millionaire. On the other hand, you could use those same 8 hours learning from a mentor or mastering a high-income skill which can earn you at least $10,000 a month. Repeat this until you’re confident enough with your skills and you can get your annual salary’s worth in just a few, short months!


If you’re unemployed, there’s an even longer list of things you could waste your time on. You could spend your day scrolling on social media, watching Netflix, partying, sleeping, gambling, or simply “enjoying” life without thinking of the consequences.


So, how should you decide which tasks to do and which ones to assign?


To do this, you have to understand the Pareto Principle. You may have encountered it as the “80/20 Rule,” which is also known as the “law of the vital few” or “the important few.” So, what exactly does this mean?


This rule says that there is an uneven relationship between cause and effect in different areas of life — including real estate, business, and wealth. Simply put, 20% of your input creates 80% of your results. 


This means the things that we do don’t all have equal effects; and so, we should focus only on those things that yield the greatest value for us. As someone who wants to be a millionaire, it means that you should focus on those tasks that will generate you the most money!

Once you’ve put together your own list of these vitally important money-rendering activities, it’s time to get to work and start creating a process for just about everything else.


This way, you’ll surely prevent a waste of time and effort. You also ensure efficiency because you’re prioritising your tasks accordingly. Remember, working smart pays off better than working hard.


The 80/20 Rule applies to all aspects of life, not just business. It gives you a smart guide on how to allocate limited resources — wealth, time, effort, and even people. 


I’ll leave you with these words from Tai Lopez, investor and advisor to numerous multimillion-dollar businesses:


“At one time, I had $47 in my bank account, no college degree, no car, no job and no real prospects. Books and mentors pulled me out of that, including my first mentor, Mike Stainback, who gave me a job and taught me about finances.


Even then, I still felt stuck. I worked harder and harder but didn’t see increased success beyond having a regular paycheck. That’s because, in hindsight, there’s one very simple way to get unstuck: work smarter, not harder, which entails putting in the appropriate amount of work at the appropriate time. Working hard is never the goal.


One of the reasons people get stuck, and I got stuck, for so long is that you buy into the lie that you’re going to hustle your way out of it. No way. The top 10 wealthiest people on the planet aren’t the absolute hardest working people. They leverage one hour of work into the equivalent of 100 hours of work.


These success stories — of people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett — all involve having had mentors that saved them a massive amount of work by showing them shortcuts! Like a fuel-efficient car, which goes more miles per gallon on less gas, the real goal is to work half as much and get twice as much done.”


Let’s not forget about the importance of sleep, either! Yes! Getting in enough sleep drastically improves your productivity levels and reduces the risk of errors!


Sleep experts recommend that everyone needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. Anything less than that could mean trouble.


In a study done by the RAND Corporation in 2016, results revealed that lack of sleep causes the average person to lose somewhere around 11 days of productivity every single year! For super high-value workers, like entrepreneurs, this can mean massive profit-losses; taking into account knock-on effects of their decision-making. 


Not only this, but lack of sleep may in fact lead entrepreneurs to make more errors. Studies show that sleep-deprived people are 20 to 30% more vulnerable to making critical mistakes. 


What’s really crucial when it comes to time-management, is people’s ability to control their hours and use their hours efficiently and effectively. If you compare yourself to everybody around you, then you can’t sit and play computer games for 8 hours a day because you won’t have much time left for other things.


So, when you put in what’s most important, and what you’re happiest about, then you’re able to see how much it takes to achieve your goal — and you have the rest of the time for whatever else you deem necessary. Remember, there’s a reason why a lot of entrepreneurs and successful people are so busy; they really pick who they hang out with and what they spend their time on.

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