Fall is one of my favourite seasons, yet it’s also a time of the year that can feel pressured. It’s easy to feel behind and overwhelmed looking at all the things you may not have accomplished and the big list ahead.
Or you might be kicking it and ready to knock things out of the park.
Wherever you’re at, I’ve got some really great news. The year is not over yet! I know, that’s kind of obvious but here’s what I’m talking about…
You may or may not be familiar with the Pareto Principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule.
You can read more about it here in Wikipedia, but in short this principle states that for many events, roughly 80 % of the effects come from 20% of the causes. The original observation was made by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who noticed that 80% of Italy’s land was owned by 20% of the population. He then carried out surveys on a variety of other countries and found to his surprise that a similar distribution applied.
This same distribution appears in several different aspects relevant to business and life. It states that 20% of what you do gives you 80 % of your results. You wear 20% of your clothes, 20% of your clients give you 80% of your revenue, 80% of complaints come from 20% of your customers and so on.
So, let’s do some simple math…20% of 365 days = 73 days.
I’m sure you can see where I’m headed with this. If you apply this principle then you guessed it, there is a great opportunity to get down to work and make a huge impact in the year within the time left.
The key is to get crystal clear and fiercely focused on the following five things: (Grab a pen and paper and write the answers. It’s worth the 10 minutes that will impact the next 2.5 months!)
(1) Figure out your ONE THING: What is the ONE thing in business or work and the ONE thing in your personal life that is going to make the greatest impact in your world? When you think of accomplishing that ONE thing, you’re going to feel super expansive. (Streamlining systems and increasing efficiency, hiring an assistant, engaging 4 new clients, renegotiating your contract, getting fit, finishing the renovation, sorting out your finances).
(2) Anchor yourself in your WHY: When you are truly grounded in why you do what you do, then it makes it so much easier to stay focused on outcomes and get the hard stuff done. Don’t worry if you haven’t figured out that epic purpose of yours (seriously not everyone is meant to be on a mission to save the world). Just focus on the real reasons you get up each and every day… like spending time with your loved ones, supporting those you care about and being a great human.
(3) Create non-negotiable ROUTINES & RITUALS: How you structure your days will either support you to achieve your ONE thing and feel great while doing it – or it won’t. It’s that simple. Figure out what is working and not working in your daily routine. Chances are you already know what needs to change and it’s amazing how the small simple things make such a difference. Get up 30 minutes earlier, make lunches in the evenings, work on your key project for 2 hours before answering emails, build in time for white space so you aren’t always stretched or book in that time to exercise and nourish yourself.
(4) Ditch ALL the DISTRACTIONS: They are literally eating away at your freedom. You know what they are. Turn off social media notifications, unsubscribe from all the things that are not relevant to you or supporting you to feel amazing while focused on your ONE thing. Create better boundaries and honour them. Use timers to stay on track. Stop talking about things and just get down to work.
(5) Get SUPPORT: We are seriously not meant to be doing all the things on our own. Not only is it lonely and a struggle, it is proven ineffective. Figure out the best use of your time based on your strengths, personality and values – what is most important to you and find help in the other areas. Start with small steps like hiring a cleaning person once a month for a couple of hours, or finding a part time assistant to take a project off your hands, hire some teenagers to clean up your yard, do a meal swap with a friend.
Know that you still have a great opportunity to wrap this year feeling really good, focused on the most important things and achieving great things.
Here’s to a fiercely focused fall anchored in what truly matters most to you!