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How Only 2% of Your Effort Can Drive As High As 98% Of The End Results

How Only 2% of Your Effort Can Drive As High As 98% Of The End Results

We have always been looking for the path to success but sometimes it seems that we are just going round in circles. I’ve been there too, working really hard on many different things to make sure all of them work really really well, I just wanted it all and I thought that would make me a have higher chance of success; but of course, it never went the way I wanted.

That’s when I started to research for smarter ways to work. And then, I found the unicorn that took me closer to success. Here’s something you can try too to wisely allocate your time and effort to gain the most success.

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The Unicorn That Drives Great Results

The Unicorn Principle[1] tells us that only 2% of your effort is going to contribute 98% of the end result. Sounds amazing? Probably this is why people call it “unicorn”. But how can we make use of it?

In online marketing, the success rate is only around 1-2%, but they’re called the “unicorn-magical” content that goes really viral. The remaining 98-99% that doesn’t go well is called “donkeys-boring” content, which is unattractive to people.

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So the thing is, when you see the 2% that works, grab the very opportunity and dig deeper into it. Figure out why it works so well and try to repeat the success, that’s how you can learn from your successful experience and expand it to an even bigger success.

Now here comes the question, how can we apply this amazing Unicorn Principle in our everyday life to create success?

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Take the “Unicorn” With You Every Day

There are different parts in our lives but as you can see from the Unicorn Principle, probably only 2% of it will work.

What it means is even you have got a lot of talents, it is quite likely that only one of your specialties will grant you success. It is not to say that you can’t be an all rounder but in fact it is more worthy to dig deep into one single specialty. You can see most of the Olympic medalists have spent most of their life to work hard on just one kind of sport. It does not mean that they can’t do well in other sports, but they see their 2% that works so they try to repeat the success to strive for a bigger success.

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So, start to think about the thing you love and are good at most. Is it your writing skill? Is it your logical thinking? Or is it how you talk with people? Dig deeper into that strength, work harder on that and try to become an expert of that. When you focus on one thing, you have more time and effort to practice more on that, and that’s when you’ll have a higher chance to succeed, and encounter more failures as well. But no worries, learn from your success, repeat it and grow; and even if you fail sometimes, you learn even more and still grow.

The Unicorn Principle tells us to narrow down the focus and to put effort on the focus. Being all-rounded is a bit harder than being a specialist because it takes you extra time and effort. Stay focused and learn from the success. Sure that you will excel in your expertise someday.

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Reference

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Sheba Leung

Translator. Sport lover. Traveler.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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