We are in full swing summer mode over here and loving it! This year we have a mix of camps and down time, and feels like the perfect fit this summer 🙂 Every year I tune into how much I want to work over the summer and plan accordingly. This year I am knee deep in creation mode, which is awesome, and have planned around it along with other business to do’s 🙂

I just love the book “Do Less” by Kate Northrup, where she talks all about this. Creating a heart felt time management system versus the typical ones that are “head” centered. She talks about narrowing down your priorities weekly instead of daily, and tuning into how you want to “feel” by the end of the week. Foreign for most of us doers, yet innately satisfying at the same time. I love the exercise she shares about the 80/20 rule, which I explain more and share in this week’s article below.

So what is the 80/20 rule anyway?

Basically, it the principle that 80% of our effects come from 20% of our causes. Every cause has an effect. It can be applied to anything, but applying it to business is this: Every result in your business has a cause.

So if we look at our big wins, accomplishments, and results, you will likely see that they came from 20% of your efforts (causes).

I heard about this years ago, but never really had a quick, targeted way to figure it out.

This is where Kate Northrup’s exercise comes in.

In her book, Doing Less, she suggests taking a fresh sheet of paper and drawing a line down the middle. On the left, list all of your current daily activities. Then once complete, on the right, list all of your big wins, accomplishments and results pertaining to your business. Once both sides are complete, look at the list of achievements on the right, and draw a line from each one to the activity on the left responsible for bringing it to fruition. And voila! That’s it. You will then directly see what activities created those results. You will probably see you’re spending a whole lotta time being busy 😉

So…what can you do about it?

Well you can first see if they are even activities you need to be doing. If they are important on some level, then you can look at delegating or getting some type of support. If you’re not in a place in your business to afford support – let’s get you there! What is your goal and how can you work toward achieving it every day? While you’re working on hiring someone, how can you get support now? Maybe it’s trading services (although be sure you both charge one another your full value so you’re not coming from a place of lack), or come up with some other crafty solution.

The idea is that you spend more time doing the 20% responsible for growing your business. This also applies to customers and clients. 20% of your customers are responsible for 80% of your revenue. So how can you grow that 20%? Check put John Assaraf’s book The Answer for more on that.

What I also love in Northrup’s book, is that she suggests doing this exercise for parenting and your relationship with your significant other too! Genius! On the left is all of your daily activities that are a part of parenting / being married – do it separately for both though. On the right are your biggest wins, i.e. having fun, being at peace, feeling connected, etc. Whatever is important to you.

Can I just say all of the “managing” I do with the kids has not led to peace, fun or connection (my wins)!!! I am going to work on letting go more and focusing on what actually brings the feelings I’m going for, while trusting them to get their own business squared away 😉 Whoo hoo!

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Written by Success Speaker & Coach Chris Atley, CEO of Chris Atley LLC ~ Decisions by Design. For complimentary success tips for business and life, please visit www.chrisatley.com