2 December 2016
How do you manage your time?
I was reading an interesting article earlier this week about the 80/20 principle. Known as Pareto’s Principle, it means that, for many events, about 80% of effects come from 20% of causes.
It’s become an often-used rule of thumb in business over the years, with business leaders looking at ways to apply the principle, such as the idea that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.
I think it’s a great concept for time management too and I’m particularly interested in the thought that 20% of tasks equal 80% of results. If this is the case, how do you know which are the most important tasks? How do you know where to invest most of your time?
There are different ways of categorizing your tasks for the day. Some tasks have priority, simply because they have become more urgent over time. Others have priority because they can quickly impact your business going forward. Your most valuable tasks might be very different from mine.
You might say that playing squash should not be on my list of priorities, but I know that not having any exercise would cause me to lose momentum in my professional life. Taking some time away from the office, on the court, actually clears my mind and helps me reach decisions faster. As a matter of fact, it is probably one of the most important hours of my day.
Having been with UKFast since setting the business up in 1999, I’ve worn a great many different hats and I only became CEO after 12 years. I believe this time has shown me what the most valuable tasks are and where it is worth me focussing my attention, yet I still can’t help wanting to get involved with jobs I know might take too much of my time.
These days, I focus most of my energy on leading the team and thinking about the business strategically. I realise that many of the things I used to do can now be looked after by our team, but it’s my job to keep pushing the business in the right direction.
Sometimes it’s not so much about getting things done, as it is about getting the right things done, and finding those tasks that will make the biggest difference for your business as a whole.
What do you consider to be the most important tasks of your day?