It’s summer. Time to kick back. Not so for lots of folks who are frantically trying to a) find a job or b) keep a job or c) survive in this hectic, over-scheduled, manically connected world.

So, what’s the secret to achieving more by doing less? The 80/20 principle. First observed by Vilfredo Pareto in 1897, it means that 20% of our efforts and actions will likely produce 80% of our results.

So? The 80/20 principle reminds us to focus clearly on what we want to achieve. Then we must make sure that there is a connection between these goals and our actions.

Don’t we always do that? Afraid not. Much of our activity on any given day is stuff we’ve always done, and we don’t really think about whether it’s zeroing in on our desired results or not.

Here’s how to focus on the right 20% of actions!

Think about short-term and long-term implications. Will your actions right now pay off for you tomorrow or build toward something you really want or need in the future?

Give up some things you like to do. Sorry to say this, but a chunkof what you do needs to go. Be brutal when you think about whether what you’re doing today will help you reach your target in the future.

Focus on your strengths. You can waste a lot of time trying to rid yourself of a weakness. Maximize your growth by spending the majority of your development time building on your strengths.

Make a plan, keep it visible and get help. Post your goals and the specific steps you’re going to take to achieve them. Get your colleagues to help hold you accountable.

If you’re going to work, you might as well work smart. Make a conscious choice to focus on the essential few things you need to be doing. (And we’re sure that one of those vital activities will be reading this blog regularly!)

Have a question or want some input from Humanergy about this topic? Contact us and we’ll get right back to you!