rants from the dark side of marketing

80/20 Time Management

Quoting Richard Koch (‘The 80/20 principle’) again, more on time management.

The name ‘time management’ gives the game away:

  • it implies that time can be managed more efficiently,
  • that it is a valuable and scarce resource,
  • and that we must dance to its tune.

We must be parsimonious with time. Given half a chance, it will escape from us. Time lost, the time management evangelists say, can never be regained.

  • Our current use of time is not rational. There is therefore no point in seeking marginal improvements in how we spend our time. We need to go back to the drawing board and overturn all our assumptions about time.
  • There is no shortage of time. In fact, we are positively awash with it. We only make good use of 20 per cent of our time.
  • Time is a friend, not an enemy. Time gone is not time lost. Time will always come round again. It is our use of time, and not time itself, that is the enemy.
  • The 80/20 principle says that we should act less. Action drives out thought. It is because we have so much time that we squander it. The most productive time on a project is usually the last 20 per cent, simply because the work has to be completed before a deadline. Productivity on most projects could be doubled simply by halving the amount of time for their completion. This is not evidence that time is in short supply.

It is increasingly apparent that the whole idea of working directly for someone else, of having a job with security but limited discretion, has just been a transient phase in the history of work. Even if you work for a large corporation, you should think of yourself as an independent business, working for yourself, despite being on Monolith Inc’s payroll.

  • Make the difficult mental leap of dissociating effort and reward.
  • Eliminate or reduce low-value activities.
  • Free yourself from obligations imposed by others.
  • Be unconventional and eccentric in your use of time.
  • Identify the 20 per cent that gives you 80 per cent.
  • Multiply the 20 per cent of your time that gives you 80 per cent.

(please, don’t sue me)

Posted on Friday, May 30th, 2008 at 1:40 pm under Rants. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


Frank Says:

Thanks for picking out all the good bits, saves me the time of reading the whole book :)

Luke Says:

Google Reader just recommended your feed to me. I’m not sure if that is irony or some kind of ethical litmus test.

countzero Says:

Where’s the irony?

Morath Says:

The irony is this is a blackhat seo blog and google recommended it lol

Toronto SEO Says:

I think the 80/20 rule is totally relevant to how much money I make. 20% of the work makes me 80% of the money and vice versa.

The key is work smarter and make sure that all your work falls into that 20% zone, that way you work less for the same results.

Just my 2 cents.

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