New Year = Fresh Start. It’s the perfect opportunity to evaluate where you’re spending your time and to make necessary changes which will improve your performance and effectiveness.
We’ve all heard of the Pareto principle (the 80/20 rule): 80% of your results will come from 20% of your activities. How much time are you devoting to tasks that don’t have a significant impact? The key to boosting personal performance is understanding what your high-payoff activities (HPAs) are and making sure these are prioritized. Identifying these HPAs will bring the greatest value to you, your organization, team and customers.
In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey introduced the four quadrants of time management. Quadrant I is for the most urgent deadlines. Quadrant II is for long-term planning and strategizing. Quadrant III is for time-sensitive tasks that don’t have a major impact but need to get done anyway. Finally, Quadrant 4 are those things that are neither urgent nor impactful.
Your HPAs fall into Quadrant II. They’re the activities that will have the greatest impact as you scale your business. This is where you want to focus your time.
Write down your top five HPAs and then look at your calendar. Is there a disconnect? Are you spending too much time in the day-to-day tactical instead of working “on” the future of the business?
Make a commitment to schedule your HPAs in your calendar and make them a priority. Next, delegate the low pay-off activities that fall into Quadrant III and eliminate the distractions which fall into Quadrant IV. You’ll be more productive when you allow yourself to focus on the things that matter most and will deliver the greatest results.
Start 2019 by optimizing your HPAs!