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Last Updated on June 19, 2020

How To Be More Action-Oriented: Obstacles And Tips

How To Be More Action-Oriented: Obstacles And Tips

Action speaks louder than words.

This is a very common expression that explains a very crucial concept that is associated with our life. There are times when words are not sufficient to complete a job in hand.

Words compose planning. Planning on doing something and taking elaborate measures to complete the task consume a lot of time. In certain instances, you may not have enough time to make plans. It is in those times when you should put aside your planning and start acting out.

Express yourself through actions and not by mere words.

For example, you want to bring changes in your community. You open a page in social media and successfully gather your neighbors to sign up or agree to your plans. Then what?

Everyone gets busy with their hectic lives, including you, and the page remains as it is, with certain pieces of advice and no action taking place, and therefore, no changes.

What Makes People Less Action-Oriented?

Here are some reasons why people become less action-oriented:

1. Lack of Motivation

Once you lose your motivation in doing a certain task, you won’t feel the urge to transform it into action.

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It happens to people who get easily overexcited about one thing and go for a prolonged plan. By the time the plan is completed, they lose every motivation to carry out the plan because they are distracted by doing too much planning.

2. No Self-Confidence

To be action-oriented, you need self-confidence. You have to believe in yourself.

If an ordinary person can climb up the ladder to success, then I believe every one of us can, too. To climb the ladder, you must be actively involved and willing to take risks.

3. Being a Perfectionist

There is no harm in being a stickler for impeccability, but insisting too much on perfection can lead to waste opportunities in life. Fast feedback loops from your mistakes are more realistic than aiming for perfect performance in one action.

People learn from mistakes. If you can learn from the worst times of your life, you’ll be ready to go into the best times of your life.

4, Confused About Your Goal

Getting distracted is fairly easy. At one point in time, I wanted to be a doctor. I prepared myself for that too. But it didn’t work out for me. I didn’t put my 100 percent on it because I just didn’t feel right about it.

Sometime later in life, I realized that my goal is to write. Ever since then, I got stuck to it, I worked hard, and I never looked back.

5. Getting Used to Procrastination

Many of us have the habit of leaving work for the last moment, thinking “It won’t take much time”. But in reality, you are frantic because you have so much to do in so little time.

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The end result? Not satisfactory at all!

There is no procrastination in action-oriented chores. There’s no need to pressure yourself more when you have ample time.

6. Analysis Paralysis

You want to do something, but there is a lot of confusion racing through your brain: What to do first? Is it the correct path? What if it backfires? How to deal with the consequences?

The prime way to overcome analysis paralysis is to differentiate a bigger problem from a smaller one. Prioritize your problems, and act accordingly.

I am not saying that planning is not important. Planning is very important if you want to carry out your action. Without planning, you won’t know the ‘4 W’s and the H’ – What, Where, When, Why, and How.

What I am saying is that too much planning will kill your choice for action. There should be a striking balance between planning and acting out. It is because what we think and plan sets the ‘motion’, and it only becomes an ‘action’ once we put it into practice.

‘Motion’ vs ‘Action’

Motion doesn’t necessarily mean action. Motion sets the platform of the task which produces no results on its own. However, action is what will produce an outcome.

For example, you want to know a certain recipe for a food that you have enjoyed at a friend’s house. Searching on the internet, getting hold of it, and saving it for the future, that’s a motion.

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But if you actually buy the ingredients and cook the food, that is an action. To be successful, set your motion to action because that is how you will reach your desired goal.

Here are 6 tips for you to be more action-oriented in life:

1. Set a Limited Timeline for Planning Before Acting Out

Naturally, you can’t be action-oriented if you don’t know what to do. For this, planning is important.

Time management is also valuable. Therefore, set a limited timeline for planning. Jot down the important things you want to remind yourself before acting so that at least you know where you are going.

Don’t over plan or overthink. It should be more of brainstorming for you.

2. Failure Shouldn’t Dishearten You

Failure is part of life. If you don’t fail, you can never taste success. You may break down many times when failure runs over you, but never give up on yourself. Learn from your mistakes and try not to repeat them.

Instead of stopping a child from climbing a tree, encourage them to do it. If they fall, they’ll be more careful next time and will continue to be so until they are successful. Be that child.

3. Discipline Yourself

A person who leads a disciplined life is more action-oriented than those who laze around. Being lethargic to work is a deadly weapon. You are not only killing valuable time, but you are also wasting opportunities that may come your way if you maintain discipline.

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Set tasks for yourself and complete them accordingly. Organize your works.

4. Reward Yourself

If you successfully complete an assigned project on time, reward yourself. Be it a treat or some shopping, encourage yourself that if you cut down on procrastinating and work harder, you will be rewarded. But if you complete a task at the eleventh hour, refrain from celebrating. This will transmit a message to your brain to be more action-oriented.

5. Being Curious and Impatient

If you want to be action-oriented, you have to be a curious cat. Also, being impatient is just fine. If you are curious and impatient to know the outcome, they will push you to be more active. For this, you need to sharpen your curiosity and urgency.

6. Picture Yourself to Be the Person You Want to Be

Start from the beginning. When you set your goal, picture yourself there. If you want to start a business, visualize yourself as the chief, and slowly work it up there.

If you want to be a successful musician, start from scratch, aiming for the ultimate prize that awaits you. Picturing yourself to be the person you want to be will pave the path for you to be an action-oriented individual.

Final Thoughts

Every one of us can come up with our own goals and dreams but only a few have the drive to act towards these goals and dreams. If you want to achieve the things you want to achieve, then you have to be action-oriented.

More Tips to Help You Take Actions

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Sumaiya Kabir

Sumaiya is a passionate writer who shares thoughts and ideas to help people improve themselves.

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Last Updated on September 24, 2020

How to Take Advantage of the 80 20 Rule to Succeed in Life

How to Take Advantage of the 80 20 Rule to Succeed in Life

The world of productivity has several hacks or tricks to help you manage your time: to-do lists, the Pomodoro Technique, Parkinson’s Law… All of these strategies are great strategies in their own way, but one strategy stands above all the others: the 80 20 rule.

This particular strategy has been used the most and is regarded as the most helpful in developing time management and other concepts in life.

But what’s so special about this rule? How does it give you success and how do you use it? Let’s explore the specifics.

What Is the 80 20 Rule?

Many people regard this rule as the 80 20 rule, but it has a proper name: the Pareto Principle[1]. The principle was named after its founder,  the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, in 1895. Pareto noticed that people in society were divided into two categories:

  • The “vital few,” which consisted of the top 20 percent with respect to money and influence.
  • The “trivial many,” otherwise known as the bottom 80 percent.

As he researched this further, he came to discover that this divide didn’t apply only to money and influence, but other areas, too. Virtually all economic activity was subject to his previous observation.

He observed that 80% of Italy’s wealth at the time was controlled by only 20% of the population.

Since the development of this rule, humankind has used this particular ratio in all kinds of situations. Even if the ratio isn’t always exact, we see this rule applied in many industries and in life. Examples are:

  • 20% of sales reps will generate 80% of your total sales.
  • 20% of customers account for 80% of total profits.
  • 80% of the revenue will stem from 20% of the workers.

Either way, I’m sure you can piece together why people call this rule the 80 20 rule over Pareto’s Principle[2].

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Make Your Life and Your Business More Efficient with the 80-20 Rule - Salesforce Canada Blog

    In terms of how this particular rule will be able to work for you, it’s a matter of applying this rule to how you spend your time. For us to see success, the goal is simple.

    We need to set it up in such a way that 20% of our input is responsible for 80% of our results.

    Another way to think about it is we use 20% of our time on activities that give us 80% of our results in a given area of life.

    How Does the 80 20 Rule Work?

    To best explain this, let’s visualize a bit.

    In an ideal world:

    • Every employee would contribute the same amount of effort to work.
    • Every feature that’s released for an app or product would be equally loved by users.
    • Each business idea you come up with would be a hit.

    In that scenario, planning would be a breeze. There wouldn’t be any need to analyze anything so long as you put in the effort.

    But that’s not reality.

    Yes, the effort is certainly an element, but what the 80 20 principle states is that everything is unequal. Invest in 10 start-up companies, and you’ll find only a few will pass year two and make it big. You’re in a team of five, and there’ll be one person doing more work than others.

    We wish our lives were always one-for-one in terms of input and output, but that’s simply not true. Understanding this is key to understanding how the 80 20 rule really works.

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    So how does it really work?

    It’s a matter of focusing on what’s giving you the most in your life for little of your time.

    Going back to the few examples I’ve presented above, consider this:

    • If two start-ups you invested in are making it big, focus on having a more direct hand, and see if you can help them prosper more.
    • If 20% of sales reps are giving you 80% of your sales, focus on rewarding those and keeping their spirits high and motivated.

    These scenarios can go on and on, but the idea is to place your efforts on the 20% that is actually making the difference in your life. Another term that’s good to know is the diminishing marginal utility[3].

    Pareto didn’t come up with this one, but the law goes as follows: each extra hour of effort or worker will add less “oomph” to your finished results.

    Eventually, you’ll hit a point where you will spend a lot of time on small and unimportant details, similar to perfectionism.

    So before hitting that point, you want to have a laser focus on the most important details, from family and relationships to your work or business. Prioritize the activities that are going to move you forward the most, and be wary of adding extra time, effort, or more hands into those particular tasks moving forward.

    How to Take Advantage of the 80 20 Rule

    So now that you have an understanding of the 80 20 rule and how it works, what is the best way to take advantage of it?

    Depending on where you are applying this rule, this can be used in all kinds of fashions.

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    For example, you can apply this rule to goal setting, as demonstrated by Brian Tracy in this video:

    Or you can apply it in terms of general productivity as explained in this article: What Is the 80 20 Rule (And How to Use It to Boost Productivity)

    The core of this rule is that it forces us to ask ourselves the questions we wouldn’t consider otherwise. It helps us to place our focus in the right places with regards to all things in life.

    In short, the 80 20 rule places us in charge of our lives and helps us set out on our goals and dreams. With this in mind, here are some things you can consider concerning this rule.

    1. Focus on Your Big Tasks First

    While this is the essence of the 80 20 rule, it’s still worth mentioning. Why? Because so many of us feel intimidated by the biggest task. We instinctively avoid it and opt for smaller tasks first.

    We think that if we complete enough small tasks that we will feel motivated to finish that really big one later. But that’s really false hope at work.

    Once we finish off a lot of small tasks, we either feel drained, or we tell ourselves we’ll do this the next day.

    Instead of doing all that, bite the bullet and tackle the largest task first.

    If you need help with prioritization, check out this article.

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    I argue this by challenging you to ask yourself this one question:

    “Is the task I’m about to do the top 20 percent of my activities or the bottom 80 percent?”

    I’m sure you’ve seen time and again you or other workers spending a lot of time on one task for most of the day. In those kinds of grinds, you’re barely getting ahead and have next to nothing to show for it. That’s because they’re putting all their attention on work that’s in the 80 percent.

    It’s normally the big tasks that are part of the 20 percent.

    Another way to think about this is that everything we do starts a habit. If every day we spend our energy on low-value tasks, we will always prioritize those.

    2. Stretch This Into Personal Life

    While I’ve been talking about business and setting goals, remember you can use this in other areas of your life, too.

    Take your personal life and ask yourself some of these questions:

    • How much TV do you watch on a regular basis? What sort of shows are you legitimately into? These questions can help you in recognizing what shows you are watching purely for consumption. By applying the 80 20 rule, you can cut back on Netflix, TV, or YouTube video consumption and prioritize other areas of your life.
    • What does your wardrobe look like in terms of colors? Are there specific colors that you like? Knowing what you wear most times will help you in sorting out your wardrobe significantly. It also saves you time to come up with what to wear every morning.
    • How many newsletters do you actually read? This question can help you in figuring out which newsletters to unsubscribe to and can clear up a lot of space in your inbox. It can also relieve pressure from having to check your emails constantly.
    • How much time do you spend on your phone every day? How much of that time is actually doing something meaningful? These questions can help you in clearing out various apps that aren’t helping you with your goals. In fact, this can curb the need to check your phone constantly.

    Final Thoughts

    The 80 20 rule is the productivity hack that many of us need, and for good reason. As you can tell, it’ll help you to focus and prioritize the more important aspects of your life.

    Not only that, but it’ll maximize those outputs at the same time and ensure you’re not spending too much time working on them. All you need to do is start asking questions and taking action.

    More Techniques to Help You Succeed in Life

    Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

    Reference

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