In this competitive world Working long hours consistently, ignoring family and personal life, avoiding better sleep and not able to take out time to improve oneself seem obvious means to success in career. However, what if I say all these are also means to your disastrous life. And believe me, if you reach the stage where you are losing your relationship and having worsened personal life your career can’t do anything about it. We are not here to compete with each other on how much effort we are putting in, we are here to produce what is needed irrespective of how much effort we are putting in- less or more. Pareto Principle (aka 80/20 rule) and Parkinson’s Law are here to rescue you from disastrous life. They can help you to achieve more while doing less.
Before we can get into revealing the secrets of achieving more while doing less, I would like to present to you some statistics that will tell you why doing more is not significantly necessary to produce more.
It was found in a study conducted a few years ago, Indians work for 8.1 hours every day, more than the average figure for the entire developed world and individual countries like the UK, Australia, France, Italy and Germany. Similarly, Manpower group conducted a survey across 25 countries of 19000 millennials and found, in 2016, that again Indians came out on top clocking 52 hours per week on average.
You have misunderstood the life if you think working long hours is essential for success. 95% of Indian millennials, between age group 18-34, are stress, as compared to the global average of 86%. The main cause is work.
(Cigna TTK Health Insurance Company survey revealed)
Research by Institute of Employment Studies on long work hours (working over 40 hours a week) found that it can lead to various negative effects include decreased productivity, poor performance, health problems, and lower employee motivation.
The above studies clearly show that working long hours is not the way to succeed in professional life. However, the question is how to achieve more while doing less to maintain work-life balance for a happy and prosperous life? It’s all about using the Pareto principle and Parkinson’s law smartly.
Let’s discuss how
The Pareto principle helps you to figure out the most efficient tasks
Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto showed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. However, this ratio applies to all aspects of life. 80% of the money of an economy is owned by 20% of the people of a country. Your 20% effort produces 80% results. That is why Management consultant Joseph M. Juran states that “for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” Juran named this after Pareto.
To take advantage of this principle in your profession you have to figure out the tasks that yield more results while consuming less time. Spend more time performing efficient tasks to produce a huge result. However, you should not forget about the other tasks that assure you a small output. But, you should not pay much attention to them.
I want to share my experience with the same. Earlier I would work hard on social media promotion, email marketing, answering questions on Quora, applying SEO method for my blog promotions. All these activities took huge time but the output was not justifying my efforts.
I came to know the Pareto principle long ago. However, I applied this on my effort to promote my blog a few months ago. I came to know that the majority of my audience is coming from Quora. Moreover, I am gathering more targeted audience mail address from Quora. That is why I started to put my major effort on Quora answering my niche-related questions and less effort on other ways of promotion.
In result, I am attracting more readers in less time and effort.
Give yourself a day and divide your tasks into two parts- tasks that take more time but yield comparatively less result and tasks that take less time but yield comparatively better results. Then follow the above steps.
Parkinson’s law reduces the consumption of time
Parkinson’s Law says “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Which means that if you give one day to complete a task then it will take one day. If you give it one week it will take one week. Guess what, if you give it one month it will probably take one month also. Because the task will increase in complexity and become more daunting so as to fill that duration. The extra time will be filled with stress and tension about having to get the task done, instead of actual work.
It is absolutely true. If you are assigned to make a powerpoint presentation and the deadline is for one week you will spend more time stressing about the task than actually working on it. On the other hand, if you have only one day then you can remove all the barriers such as stress, complexity and distractions to get it done.
So what you can do now to get your tasks done sooner and have some free time?
First of all, you have to give the usual deadline for all your tasks. Then shrink the deadlines by 70% and then try to finish your tasks according to your new deadline. Don’t worry, your quality will not be compromised because of the shortened deadline. It will make you get your tasks done in the actual time and have some free time.
Earlier I would take entire day writing and publishing one article. Because I would think an entire day would help me to produce a high-quality article. In result, I would research, write and edit an article in one day while making myself busy for being busy in excessive research, waiting for perfection before I publish the article, stress out myself thinking whether my readers will like my article or not. I would ignore every other thing for writing just one article in my entire day. But, now I research, write and edit an article in just 5 or 5:30 hours without compromising with quality and content-driven article.
We avoid stress, and mental and physical distraction if we have less time to get any task done.
If you are an entrepreneur you can easily follow the above techniques and save your time. If you are an employee then use this technique to show your productivity that will help you to get promotions and earn the tag of the best employee.
You might be thinking that why we should save time by using the Pareto principle and Parkinson’s law to save time. We are here to work. We have 24-hour. We should dedicate it for work to excel in professional life. Well, we have already discussed above how living only for work can lead to the biggest disaster in life.
On the other hand, if you have enough free time you can spend quality time with family. Moreover, you can learn some skills in your free time that will boost your career. You will do better than those who are working round the clock but not spending time to improve themselves.
The benefits of learning new skills are countless. Such as stave off boredom, slow the effects of aging, maintain your mental health. Learning is essential to success in your personal life and your work life.
Use the above techniques to produce more in less time. In remaining time you can work on yourself to improve and spend a great time with family and nature for great success in your personal and professional life.