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3 Reasons to Forget the 80/20 Rule and Focus on the 4 Percent

3 Reasons to Forget the 80/20 Rule and Focus on the 4 Percent

The number one mistake entrepreneurs make is that they don’t know the ROI (return on investment) of their time. As an entrepreneur I’m guilty of that as well. It’s easy to get distracted and focus on a billion things at once and not see much success from it. In fact, we feel compelled to dip our hands into many different projects.

It wasn’t until recently that I figured out how to leverage my time to see an insane ROI. I would never have figured it out if I hadn’t sat down with the Freedom Entrepreneur himself, Chris Duncan. Christopher Duncan is the embodiment of the freedom entrepreneur. In fact, that’s the slogan by which he lives. He works smarter and not harder which allows him to run eight companies- three of which do seven figures a year- and still be able to work wherever he wants.

    When he says that you can live a life with total freedom, that’s exactly what he means, but because people usually don’t know the ROI of their last hour or the ROI of their staff members they are not able to grow their businesses as fast as they’d like. The problem with not measuring output and productivity is that life can become an endless, unproductive hustle. Here’s a new concept I learned from Chris. Most entrepreneurs know the 80/20 rule- that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts. However, if there’s an 80/20 rule then there must be an 80/20 of that 80/20 which is the 4% that will bring you 64% of your results. This means that you only need to know the needle movers of your business that make most of the difference. You don’t need to do everything else that people think they need to do.

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    The 4% is what Chris calls the money-making activity. It’s what you can do repeatedly to make all the money. Here are three things you can do to make sure you’re utilising the 4% concept to its fullest potential.

    1. Anything outside of the 20% must be delegated.

    Now the question becomes how to figure out what that 4% is. The answer is quite simple. The 4% is the money-making activity which I mentioned above but if you don’t know what that is, you should track where you’re spending your time and what activities bring you the most money.

    Put a timer on your phone for every 30 minutes between the time you wake up and the time you go to bed. Every time the timer goes off, write down what you did that past half hour. The point is not to change your daily routine just because you have the alarm. The point is to track what you do on a daily basis so that you can figure out where you’re wasting your time and what you can delegate.

    Here’s an example.

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    12:00 pm

    • Hired someone on Fiverr to make a media package form.
    • Created some part of form.
    • Wrote down services for future reference.
    • Created Google Drive for web developer w/ info.

    12:30 pm

    • Set up Calendly.
    • Created contact page w/ Calendly.

    1:00 pm

    • Talked with client about his press.
    • Scheduled more calls.
    • Friend came over.
    • Created my own form instead of Fiverr.

    This provides a clear picture of what you do day in and day out. You can eliminate the activities that aren’t beneficial for your business and delegate repetitive tasks that don’t do much to grow your business.

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    2. The 4% is cashflow.

    The 4% is the needle movers in your business- the few activities that if you did more of would grow your business exponentially. Chances are if you track how you use your time, you’ll find that the 4% is cashflow. Make sure that the money coming into your business is more than the money going out of your business. This way your business will survive and thrive. If you don’t master cashflow then you will be simply getting by. After identifying what you should be doing and what should be delegated, you should do double what makes the money.

    It can be easy for entrepreneurs to get sidetracked by doing things that don’t yield many results. Here’s an example I recently found on Facebook that shows the difference in results by only focusing on what matters.

      Now instead of being busy he’s being productive.

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      3. Double what works.

      Once you know that you should live by the 4% rule, you need to focus more of your time and energy on that. It’s one of the reasons successful entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk say that you should focus completely on your strengths- not your weaknesses. It’s the reason why other entrepreneurs tell their followers to increase what works. That’s the way to build a business faster.

      In the previous paragraphs I talked about how to identify what the 4% is and how to leverage it in your business. I’m going to use Chris as an example. Chris knew that in his business he was getting massive results- crushing 60K- by putting on webinars and not doing the traditional blog posts to generate leads. Since he knew this was the moneymaker for him, all he needed to do was to get more people on the webinar or put on more webinars to make more money. He grew his business to six-figure months by solely focusing on partnerships and webinars. Anything outside of that activity he hired or delegated.

      If you know that 4% of your efforts bring in most of the results, then you should double the amount of time you spend on the 4% to increase your results.

      Featured photo credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ via huffingtonpost.com

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      Adnan Manzoor

      Data Analyst & Life Coach

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      Last Updated on March 30, 2020

      What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

      What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

      If you’ve got a big block of free time, the best way to put that to use is to relax, have fun, decompress from a stressful day, or spend time with a loved one. But if you’ve just got a little chunk — say 5 or 10 minutes — there’s no time to do any of the fun stuff.

      So, what to do in free time?

      Put those little chunks of time to their most productive use.

      Everyone works differently, so the best use of your free time really depends on you, your working style, and what’s on your to-do list. But it’s handy to have a list like this in order to quickly find a way to put that little spare time to work instantly, without any thought. Use the following list as a way to spark ideas for what you can do in a short amount of time.

      1. Reading Files

      Clip magazine articles or print out good articles or reports for reading later, and keep them in a folder marked “Reading File”. Take this wherever you go, and any time you have a little chunk of time, you can knock off items in your Reading File.

      Keep a reading file on your computer (or in your bookmarks), for quick reading while at your desk (or on the road if you’ve got a laptop).

      2. Clear out Inbox

      Got a meeting in 5 minutes? Use it to get your physical or email inbox to empty.

      If you’ve got a lot in your inbox, you’ll have to work quickly, and you may not get everything done; but reducing your pile can be a big help. And having an empty inbox is a wonderful feeling.

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      3. Phone Calls

      Keep a list of phone calls you need to make, with phone numbers, and carry it everywhere.

      Whether you’re at your desk or on the road, you can knock a few calls off your list in a short amount of time.

      4. Make Money

      This is my favorite productive use of free time. I have a list of articles I need to write, and when I get some spare minutes, I’ll knock off half an article real quick.

      If you get 5 to 10 chunks of free time a day, you can make a decent side income. Figure out how you can freelance your skills, and have work lined up that you can knock out quickly — break it up into little chunks, so those chunks can be done in short bursts.

      5. File

      No one likes to do this. If you’re on top of your game, you’re filing stuff immediately, so it doesn’t pile up.

      But if you’ve just come off a really busy spurt, you may have a bunch of documents or files laying around.

      Or maybe you have a big stack of stuff to file. Cut into that stack with every little bit of spare time you get, and soon you’ll be in filing Nirvana.

      6. Network

      Only have 2 minutes? Shoot off a quick email to a colleague. Even just a “touching bases” or follow-up email can do wonders for your working relationship. Or shoot off a quick question, and put it on your follow-up list for later.

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      7. Clear out Feeds

      If my email inbox is empty, and I have some spare time, I like to go to my Google Reader and clear out my feed inbox.

      8. Goal Time

      Take 10 minutes to think about your goals — personal and professional.

      If you don’t have a list of goals, start on one. If you’ve got a list of goals, review them.

      Write down a list of action steps you can take over the next couple of weeks to make these goals a reality. What action step can you do today? The more you focus on these goals, and review them, the more likely they will come true.

      9. Update Finances

      Many people fall behind with their finances, either in paying bills (they don’t have time), or entering transactions in their financial software, or clearing their checkbook, or reviewing their budget.

      Take a few minutes to update these things. It just takes 10 to 15 minutes every now and then.

      10. Brainstorm Ideas

      Another favorite of mine if I just have 5 minutes — I’ll break out my pocket notebook, and start a brainstorming list for a project or article. Whatever you’ve got coming up in your work or personal life, it can benefit from a brainstorm. And that doesn’t take long.

      11. Clear off Desk

      Similar to the filing tip above, but this applies to whatever junk you’ve got cluttering up your desk. Or on the floor around your desk.

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      Trash stuff, file stuff, put it in its place. A clear desk makes for a more productive you. And it’s oddly satisfying.

      12. Exercise

      Never have time to exercise? 10 minutes is enough to get off some pushups and crunches. Do that 2 to 3 times a day, and you’ve got a fit new you.

      13. Take a Walk

      This is another form of exercise that doesn’t take long, and you can do it anywhere. Even more important, it’s a good way to stretch your legs from sitting at your desk too long.

      It also gets your creative juices flowing. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, taking a walk is a good way to get unstuck.

      14. Follow up

      Keep a follow-up list for everything you’re waiting on. Return calls, emails, memos — anything that someone owes you, put on the list.

      When you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, do some follow-up calls or emails.

      15. Meditate

      You don’t need a yoga mat to do this. Just do it at your desk. Focus on your breathing. A quick 5 to 10 minutes of meditation (or even a nap) can be tremendously refreshing.

      Take a look at this 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

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      16. Research

      This is a daunting task for me. So I do it in little spurts.

      If I’ve only got a few minutes, I’ll do some quick research and take some notes. Do this a few times, and I’m done!

      17. Outline

      Similar to brainstorming, but more formal. I like to do an outline of a complicated article, report or project, and it helps speed things along when I get to the actual writing. And it only takes a few minutes.

      18. Get Prepped

      Outlining is one way to prep for longer work, but there’s a lot of other ways you can prep for the next task on your list.

      You may not have time to actually start on the task right now, but when you come back from your meeting or lunch, you’ll be all prepped and ready to go.

      19. Be Early

      Got some spare time before a meeting? Show up for the meeting early.

      Sure, you might feel like a chump sitting there alone, but actually people respect those who show up early. It’s better than being late (unless you’re trying to play a power trip or something, but that’s not appreciated in many circles).

      20. Log

      If you keep a log of anything, a few spare minutes is the perfect time to update the log.

      Actually, the perfect time to update the log is right after you do the activity (exercise, eat, crank a widget), but if you didn’t have time to do it before, your 5-minute break is as good a time as any.

      More Inspirations on What To Do During Free Time

      Featured photo credit: Lauren Mancke via unsplash.com

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