The Habit Society

💡 Fight the urge

To: Society Members

Good Morning!

We know it’s been a tough year for a lot of small businesses and we’d love to do what we can. Reply here with your own business or one you’d like to see featured next week.

Also, in case you missed last week’s newsletter, check out our spin-off of the classic New Year’s resolutions to really get sh*t done this year.

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The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, explains how 20% of our actions account for 80% of our results. In other words, most of the things we do on a daily basis don’t actually get us anywhere. Yikes. Take a look:

medium.com

Here are a few examples of the 80/20 rule in practice:

  • 20% of employees are responsible for 80% of the results.
  • 20% of drivers cause 80% of all traffic accidents.
  • 20% of companies’ products represent 80% of sales.

Understanding the Pareto Principle is essential for learning how to prioritize our tasks and use the time we’ve got as best we can. This principle suggests that 8 out of 10 things written on our to-do list will essentially be…unessential. So, how do we become more intentional with our time?

Resist the Urge

Fight the urge to cross off the easy things on your to-do list first. This is just a neat procrastination tactic that we all exploit. But, according to the 80/20 rule, the things you oh so conveniently push to the bottom of your list also happen to be the only things that will have an impact on your goals. Our to-do lists make it look like we’ve accomplished something, but when you take a closer look, all that’s crossed off is ‘wish Jane a happy birthday’, and ‘take chicken out of freezer’. And, if you’re like us, you’ll even add completed things to your to-do list just so you can cross them off. Who are we fooling?

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The Battle of the E’s
Boxing match

Efficiency versus Effectiveness

What’s the difference?

Efficiency means getting the most amount of tasks done. Effectiveness means working on the right task. Basically, efficient = getting more done; effective = getting the right things done.

Peter Drucker, a well-known management consultant, on the misconception of efficiency: “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” Yes, we can and should learn to do our tasks efficiently, but no matter how efficiently we clean out the spice rack, it’s still a waste of time. Before setting our to-do list in stone, we should be asking ourselves, should I spend my time getting really good at these things, if these things aren’t going to get me the results that I want? Realistically, only 20% of our day is spent on the “important stuff”, while the rest of our time is split between Instagram stalking our Peloton instructors, looking up sourdough discard recipes, or searching for loopholes to skip the important stuff altogether.

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Busy Bee(ing Ineffective)
Busy Bee

Being busy does not equate to being effective. No one enjoys hearing coworker Mindy complain about how busy she is. Who made “busy” a bragging right? But ironically, It’s more likely that Mindy either isn’t being effective or efficient for that matter. Listen to Douglas Goldstein, co-author of Rich As A King: “Don’t just be busy. Make sure you are busy with the right things.”

Of course, the 80/20 rule is not an exact science. There may be some wiggle room79/21 or even 78/22. Wild, we know! But, the point is, the most impactful results come from a small number of actions.

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Apply the 80/20 rule:

(1) Make a list of the 10 things you spend the most time on.

(2) Ask yourself, if I can only do two of these tasks today, which would have the most impact?

(3) Eliminate the others. Be merciless.

(4) Repeat.

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When applied to your life and work, the 80/20 rule can help you separate the vital few from the trivial many.

Joseph Juran

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Complicated meal prep is so 2020. Let Yumi Organics do the work for you this year. Just add your favorite milk, pop it in the fridge and you’ve got a delicious and nutritious breakfast ready for you. If we didn’t love them enough already, they’ve also got a 21-day breakfast challenge for January 2021 to help build new habits. Use promo code THS10 for 10% off!
Wanna see more? Click here to see the event calendar and join others in creating a healthy new habit.
Yumi Organics overnight oats
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Bye
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