I just finished my first book in my quest for 52 books in 52 weeks. The 80/20 Principle: The secret to achieve more with less.
To give you the down low, the premise is about how we get 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts. If we expand on the 20% that is most productive and effective while putting less emphasis on the 80% that is not we can essentially get more done, be happier doing it, and create more time for the important things that make us come alive.
This post is focused on Time management, $$$, and health. Why you ask… well because I said so… just play’n.
From my experience I have found that those are the three most important areas to apply 80/20.
Warning… this is a long post but you may never be the same after reading it.
The nuts and bolts of 80/20
Key take aways from the book are this.
Simplicity is genius
Simplify things to accomplish more. Work less by freeing yourself of marginal activities that contribute little to the bottom line, your happiness, your goals, and your lifestyle. Pursue activities, work, and relationships that are consistent with the lifestyle you want to live.
- Don’t try to raise the average. Emphasize the exceptional and concentrate on growing it.
- Pursue excellence in a few areas rather than mediocrity or competence in many.
- Out-source non productive activities.
- Do the things you love to do and the things you do well.
- Make the most of the moments where everything seems to fall into place and complete bliss is found.
While I agree with most of the principles I do think there is room to play with it a little.
I don’t want to make this a book report s0 lets put this stuff into action and make it happen shall we?
Decide who you want to be
To live a life full of limitless possibilities we need to concentrate on time management, goal setting, relationships, money or finances, and our health and well-being.
In the words of Dilated Peoples “First things first, my people’s come first.” Or in this case, YOU come first.
That’s right. Be selfish as all get-up right now. Who do you want to be? What do you want your life to look like? Be specific here. How can you ever get somewhere if you don’t even know the destination?
Do you want more money?
A six-pack? and no… not beer.
Never to wake up to an alarm clock?
The more specific you can get the better. Sit down and write out what you want a day to look life for yourself. From the time you get up to the time you go to sleep. How can you build your life around that goal?
Is your job inline with those ideas? Is your health? Are your relationships and the people you spend your time with?
How can you align your life so that you are doing the things that make you feel good 80% of the time?
Getting more shit done in less time is vital when it comes to living your life according to your values. A few key things to focus on when trying to juggle your time and your pursuits.
1. Effort+more effort does not=more rewards: I’m not saying to not work hard. I value hard work. What I am saying is that working more does not mean that you deserve more, should expect greater rewards, or make you a better person. Concentrate on quality not quantity. Quit participating in time wasters. Checking email every 5 minutes or yapping on the phone with your body while at the gym for example.
If you are working out and pinched for time focus on the biggest bang for your buck. Big lifts that burn the most calories and hit the most muscles. No curls for the girls please. Dead-lift, squat, push-ups, pull-ups, presses, and run really really fast!
No time to make a meal? Well cook in batches bitc*’s ( well I thought it was funny). Most of us are in a rush in the morning or just plain lazy at night. Take one to two days a week and cook up all your meals for the week. Spend sunday preparing meals from Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Then take Wednesday to do the same for Thursday and Friday. Relax on Saturday and just see where the day takes you.
2. Get rid of convention. Remember your mom asking you this “If everyone else jumped off a bridge would you?”
Dude, Momma-dukes was right!
Forge your own path. Just because everyone else is bull-shitting around the water cooler, staying out late for drinks, or working hours on end in a gig they hate doesn’t mean you have to.
I always hear “I had friends in-town, family was over, or I didn’t have time to get something healthy.” Stop making excuses and start accepting responsibility. Tell them why you are eating healthy, educate them on the importance, ask for their support.
Make time for the important things and get rid of those that are not. It’s your life. Start living the way you want to and not for someone else.
80/20 your dolla dolla bills ya’ll
Most people believe they need more in order to do the things they want to do. In reality it’s not more money that they need it’s less spending.
Is it more important for you to take that trip to Thailand or buy that new flat screen TV? Get real with your spending habits. Where are you wasting money and what can you sell of yours that you can get you more.
Do you have any memberships or subscriptions you pay for each month but don’t even use?
Get healthy and bike or walk to the store instead of wasting gas?
Workout at home instead of at the gym to save.
It’s all about priorities.
I recently put my TV or Craigslist. I realized working on this site, learning how to salsa, reading, and being more active were more important to me. What junk can you get rid of to earn some extra dough to pursue some amazing adventures?
Here are some fantastic resources that can help you out. I’m definitely not a financial expert but these guys have it down.
Adam Baker (Man versus Debt)
Take a good hard look at your expenses. Here is an example of mine. I plan on selling my truck to eliminate that insane gas cost each month, cancel a few memberships I have, and get rid of cable now that I don’t have a TV 😀
I’ll do the math for you. That right there is almost $600 I can save each month. $600 that do not contribute to any new experiences. Do you know what you can do with $600 bucks…. yeah, a lot! (note: Motorcycle will be bought but I’ll still be able to sit on a few grand after the truck is gone.)
Visit this site if you want to fill out your own dreamline. Plus there are a ton of other sweet resources.
80/20 Nutrition, Fitness, and You
Lets 80/20 the heck out of our nutrition, workouts, and ourselves to dominate and look good naked doing so.
If you are new here you might not know I am a big fan of the Paleo diet. With that said I don’t make it a religion. For MOST if you are able to stick to the principles (cough, download my free e-book, cough) 80-90% of the time your body, energy, and blood work will be fantastic.
Wheat, sugar, and industrial seed oils should be completely eliminated from our diets. They are extremely poisonous and toxic to our bodies. In that link I provided Chris explains through research that wheat, sugar, and industrial seed oils lead to the following.
- Heart disease
- autoimmune disease
- digestive disorders
That’s just to name a few. With that said, some non Paleo foods are worse than others. There is a place in our diets for dairy and various kefir containing foods which can help with digestion, bone health, and the immune system.
Legumes, nightshades, and even properly soaked grains can have a place in your diet. It’s ok to ease up every once in a while. There is too much research out there to imply that there is such a thing as a “one size fits all” approach to eating.
Lets look at it this way. If you feel great, are happy with the way you look, and all of your blood tests, cholesterol, and vitals come back good to go then keep doing what you’re doing. But if you can’t digest a thing, are not happy with your body composition, have terrible allergies, diabetes, or any of the fore mentioned disorders then a strict paleo plan may be for you.
I don’t want to harp on it but I will. Nutrition is 80% of the battle when it comes to your health. Think of it like this.
Lets say you workout 5 out of 7 days a week. I’m assuming you probably eat 4-5 meals or snacks a day. So that’s about 28-35 meals/snacks a week (see what grad school did for me). It doesn’t take much to see that you have 28-35 opportunities to change your body through nutrition where as you only have 5 to do it through exercise.
If you want to make dramatic and long-lasting changes in health and wellness then make sure to be consistent with your workouts but put your emphasis on good nutrition.
80/20 is just a general guideline. There is no need to wrap yourself around the numbers. The importance of it is to get you to think about the person you want to be and the lifestyle you want to live.
The results you are achieving are the truest indicator of what it is you are doing. If you are not working out and having Twinkies and coke for breakfast than the results will show. If you are buying every new gadget and not being frugal with your cash than that will impact you as well.
Pick an area in your life where you feel you just are not living up to your expectations. Health, career, relationships, whatever that may be.
Are you focusing on the 20% that produce the 80% or is it the other way around?
If you need some help 80/20 your life just give me a shout. Or if you have already applied some of these techniques I’d love to hear about it.