Not very long ago, when the coronavirus showed up on the scene we were watching TV saying, “Oh my, look at what’s happening to them.” Now WE are them! I can admit I was saying it too, being grateful to have just made it back from southeast Asia a couple of weeks before it started to make its global impact.
The Coronavirus, Covid-19 has come in and quickly impacted the way we live, work and play. Many people across the globe are practicing social distancing by staying indoors, working from home, and finding themselves with a lot of time on their hands.
Before you become a permanent fixture on that couch with a protruding remote or snack in your hand, I have some suggestions on how you can make the most of your time during what I am calling, The Corona Productivity Lock-in.
Do you know that you get 80% of your results from just 20% of your time and effort and consequently, 80% of your time is virtually wasted on nonproductive activities? Once you realize this it is easy to take advantage and either reduce the hours you work or significantly improve your productivity.
It’s called the Pareto Principle or the 80-20 rule. The 80-20 rule means that in any area of our lives, literally 80 percent of our fruits are derived from only 20 percent of doing “what matters.” In other words, there is only a very small portion of all that we do each day, regardless of the situation, which brings us the “higher return.”
Here is how can you benefit from being aware of this principle. Implement a strategy based on the 80-20 rule that will result in greater productivity (work task, home task), wealth and greater leisure time? Just imagine how productive you will be if 80% of your time could be spent on productive activities especially during this crucial time. You must realize that the things that matter most should never be at the mercy of activities that matter least.
Here are 5 Steps to maximize your productivity during Covid-19 Lockdown:
1) Make a list of all the things you need to do and have put off.
You know those things like updating your resume, filing, making phone calls, looking for new opportunities, updating that LinkedIn page, writing or finishing that book, cleaning out that closet (ouch that’s me).
2) Analyze your list.
Separate your activities into high priority – those that produce a return or where only you have the skills to do the work – and low priority – activities others can do where the activity can be delegated to someone else like a virtual assistant, support staff or family member. You will almost certainly find that you are spending most of your time on low-priority activities rather than activities directly providing a return. In almost all businesses these nonproductive activities tend to absorb time at a far greater rate than they should.
3) Delegate non-productive activities
Once you can identify the low priority activities delegate as many as possible. There may be several low priority activities you are tempted to keep. Unless it is unavoidable don’t be tempted and don’t get involved in nonproductive activities or your productivity will fall.
4) Calculate the time required for any remaining low priority activities
Once you have delegated all that you can, your next step is to calculate how much the time you should be spending on the remaining low priority activities to make maximum use of your productive time. Do not work disproportionately hard at these low priority activities and set aside specific time each day or week to complete them.
5) Prioritize your remaining activities
Once you have cleared out the activities that do not bring you any return, it is time to turn your attention to the activities in your life that are bringing the most reward. Prioritize your activities and concentrate most of your time just on a few high-priority activities. Once you have made and analyzed your list tackle one task at a time until they are all done.
I know binge-watching all of the seasons of your favorite shows on Netflix might seem like the best thing to do but you don’t want to look back at weeks of social distancing, time in the house and you still have that same to-do list. The objective throughout is to maximize your results from the areas of high return and to delegate those activities that have a low return. Having to spend a disproportionate amount of time on non-productive activities is a major source of stress for many businessmen. Delegating these activities will, therefore, have the added benefit of reducing the stress you are under. It is all about doing less work for greater return.
For more success in life, whether that is more money, more time with your family or just making time for golf you should start implementing the 80-20 rule immediately. It will help your career as well as your personal life and, as a bonus, following the 80-20 rule day in and day out can make you very wealthy over the long term.