“…a minority of causes, inputs or effort usually lead to a majority of the results… in practically all walks of life, there is a huge imbalance between the aggregate of cause and effect.”How to Apply the 80/20 Principle to Your Freelance Business – Tom Ewer/Bidsketch
We’ve all heard about the 80/20 rule. But when you’re a tiny business it’s hard to stop trying to do it all. To focus on the 20% you’re actually good at and not let things you dread and/or are not good at suck up all your time.
I struggle here. If you do, too, Tom Ewer’s post about the Pareto Principle – a.k.a., the 80/20 rule – is for you.
In it, Ewer writes that the time we spend on our most gratifying and profitable tasks typically accounts for only 20% of our working hours; the rest of our time is spent “toiling away on the kind of work that offers a low (or non-existent) return.”
He says if we can tip the balance so that unproductive drudgery takes up the smallest part of our days we will be happier and more productive.
Applying the 80/20 rule
The post includes suggestions for increasing productivity, profit and satisfaction. Bold and highly attractive moves like:
- “Fire” unprofitable clients
- Eliminate tasks that don’t contribute to your business
- Automate or hire someone to handle tasks that are necessary but don’t require your specific area of expertise
Jack of all trades = master of none
As a freelancer now, and a one-woman web department previously, I’m used to handling a wide variety of tasks. Pretty much whatever it takes to get the job done.
I’ve hired others when a project is clearly outside my areas of expertise, but because I’m pretty good at figuring things out my tendency is to “just take a quick look.”
Always famous last words >_<
It’s one reason I’m never bored. But it also means I often spend time soaking up knowledge about things I will never. ever. do. again (or never want to do again).
Morphing into an efficient, laid-back delegator of tasks is not easy for someone who feels obligated to act as a jack-of-all-trades.
Putting the 80/20 rule into practice
I’m learning. Slowly. Ewer’s post is helpful. Pop over and give it a read. It’ll be 7 minutes well spent.