How elimination is the key to productivity

Escape 9-5 and live anywhere Part-3

Forget anything that has to do with time management. This is probably the worst productivity advice you’re getting, but the idea of time management – doing more in less time – has kept many people busy without actually moving.

Productivity is not always about being busy. To be productive, you have to be busy doing the exact thing you should be doing per time. Don’t get too lost in the idea of filling time with activity, and not accomplishing the most important things at the end of the day.

As a would be NR, you should be more concerned with being effective than efficient. There’s a world of difference between the two. Efficiency is being busy doing stuff which isn’t necessarily contributing to your grand goal, but when you’re effective, every task you do is moving you toward your end goal. For example, you can be busy replying to emails for 3 hours, when you could easily outsource that at a lower cost and focus on doing more important activities that will lead you to your end goal. Replying to your emails may be a part of your job description, but spending hours on that alone doesn’t make you any more efficient.

Wherever you are in your life, productivity is important if NR is the goal.

There are two laws you can incorporate into your life to rapidly boost your personal and professional productivity: the 80/20 law and the Parkinson’s law.

Let’s start with the first. The 80/20 law or principle states that, about 20 % of activities account for 80 % of the results we get. To put it more practically, as an employee, roughly 20 % of your time is responsible for 80 % of your office work. No employee is really productive 8 hours every day, a good part of that 8 hours is used for relatively unimportant tasks. This is explained by Parkinson’s law, which states that, “a task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.”

If something urgent has come up, you will most definitely be able to finish your daily tasks before the standard 8 hours is over. This should be your goal as an employee who wants to live the New Rich. Use the 80/20 law to focus on your most productive activities, get them done in time so you can focus on other things. Apply Parkinson’s law by setting yourself a deadline that’s earlier than what was cut out by your employer.

Doing this will not only increase your productivity, it will make you valuable to your organization and at that point you can negotiate remote work, a salary raise or both.

Similarly, the entrepreneur or business owner can apply both principles to increase sales and save more time.

In the previous blog, we talked about Mukesh working 15 hours a day and how things changed when he decided to make a move. One of the things he did was apply the 80/20 principle to let go of some customers who weren’t contributing much to the progress of his business. He realized he was wasting too much time on them, and that was responsible for his long working hours. He saved time when he decided to stop chasing this category of customers, and instead focused on how he could satisfy and attract more of the type of customers that moved his business. The result? He lost some revenue in the first few weeks, but quickly began earning more in less time.

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