Procrastination can show up in many forms, including spending time browsing Facebook or surfing the internet, checking your email obsessively throughout the day, talking with a co-worker about last night’s big game, or even spending a chunk of your time on busy work instead of more important projects. If you want to improve your success and overcome procrastination, then you need to apply the 80/20 rule in your life.

What is the 80/20 Rule?

The 80/20 rule is the concept that 80% of your revenue or success comes from only 20% of your efforts or customers. If you look at the activities that are completed during the day, you will find that the top 20% of your daily activities will result in 80% of the results that you achieve.

It’s easy for general tasks to slip in and keep us distracted from the things that can move us forward in success and many people find themselves slipping back into old habits of procrastination instead of focusing on the 20% that will propel you forward.

Tips to Apply the 80/20 Rule

Here are a few tips that can be used to maximize your productivity and overcome procrastination:

  • Change your daily workflow. Most people are in the habit of looking at their to-do list, and then checking Facebook or Twitter with the idea that they will start on their list after a few mundane tasks. Instead of letting yourself slip out of productivity, jump into your to-do items to get them done first, and then you can spend the rest of the day relaxing once your list is done.
  • Get rid of the need to be perfect. We all have habits that slow down our progress, and many times these habits are rooted in the concept of trying to achieve perfection. Re-reading and editing a short email for 15 minutes before hitting the send button only makes a small, incremental difference in the big picture. Move fast, complete the task as quickly as possible, and then move onto the next without getting bogged down by trying to achieve perfection.
  • Add break time to your calendar. Trying to power through your to-do list without taking a break can have negative consequences and you will eventually burn out. Make sure to schedule some time to do nothing: relax, read a book, watch a movie, or play with your kids. These tasks will help to refuel your creativity and make you more effective when you’re focusing on the tasks that really matter. Also, it can be beneficial to take a digital break, where you completely step away from the computer for a full day each week.

It takes a little bit of practice, but once you identify the tasks that are propelling your success, then you can optimize your workflow and decrease procrastination. It’s amazing to see how effective you can be by applying the 80/20 rule in your own life because you will learn how to maximize your productivity and enjoy the time away from your projects.

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