In the 80/20 world we live in, only 20% of what we do in a week (or any frame of time) gives us 80% of our output. If we were to take this rule literally, in a mathematical sense, 1.4 days of our week is what gives us this 80% of results. What can you exclude each day to
increase your time efficiency using the 80/20 rule? In our everyday lives we do a lot of things that don’t exactly benefit our future selves, but give us pleasure now. Some of these are not bad things, like relaxing in your recliner reading a fiction book, that you probably won’t remember anything about in a few weeks, after a long day of work. However, others cause our brains to slow rot away, in a sense. You can read countless books on health and fitness, but how many of you can remember seeing a book on how to keep our mind healthy. TV is one of the biggest time consumers ever invented. Unfortunately, we all spend way to much time sitting on the couch watching shows that probably won’t give us anymore knowledge than we already have. Even the man who invented television didn’t want his kids to use it. He probably knew what a waste of time it was too. Now, I know that some TV shows and videos on the web actually contain some much needed information. These videos are great for acquiring information and I highly recommend watching them. However, I think everyone knows what I’m talking about when I say “useless shows”. On the other hand, I totally understand if you have been working long hours and just want to sit down and relax, while you watch a cooking competition, comedy, etc. This is one of the few things TV is good for, relaxation and recreation.
Cutting back on the amount of TV we watch is very difficult, especially if you are extremely addicted to it. If you think you watch about 3-4 hours of TV a day, try chopping it back to 3-4 hours every 3 days. Then, 3 hours every week. If you still think you have to have TV, try keeping it at 3 hours a week. Not wasting so much time on shows that don’t give you any valuable insight will help you reach your goals in business, family, and ever aspect of life.
Lets say for a minute that you don’t watch very much TV and you read (thoroughly) as many high level books as you can each week. Unfortunately, you now fall into the category of people known as an “information junkie”. Reading, unless for pleasure, should be done as quickly as possible, only hitting the points that are beneficial to you. Remember: only the high points! A lot of people, even myself, want to make sure they get as much out of the book as they can before they call it quits. This wastes time that could be spent on another book, on the same subject, that could give you even more insight than the first. We need to be information users, or people who only obtain what is most important to the topic and then move on. As Michael Masterson puts it in his 2010 business book The Pledge: Your Master Plan for an Abundant Life, “An information user is someone who consumes information to profit from it….An information junkie consumes information like drugs or candy bars. It gives him an immediate rush and then nothing afterward. That’s why he needs to buy more.”
Here is just a few ways you can increase your output by using your time efficiently and by cutting back on those things that only give you the 20%.