One way of describing the 80/20 rule will be to 'achieve more by doing less'.
Often, the term 'quality time' is associated with time spent with family or leisure activity. However, in time management basics, this term has a totally different meaning.
All time spent in doing task of less comparative value activity is considered as wasted time.
Let's assume that you start your day with a task list of 20 "to-do' items & complete 15 of those tasks. I guess, you will go home pretty satisfied with your day's job. What if the 5 items left pending were the most important ones? Would you still consider your day to have been productive? This is exactly the argument that supports qualitative time over quantitative time.
Activities that contribute to qualitative time can be found by asking the following questions.
1. What activities will deliver the biggest results?
2. Which activities will my customer & employer value most?
3. If I am going on a 30 day vacation today, what tasks will I surely finish?
Have your task list in front of you when you are asking the above mentioned questions. Your next step is to mark various tasks according to priority. Task with most comparative value may be marked 'A' & tasks with the least comparative value may be marked 'C' Ones' first priority should be to complete all the items marked as A & B. A common mistake that people make while preparing their 'to-do' list is that they mention time against each activity.
More importance should be given to finishing top priority tasks than to completing tasks as per the sequence mentioned in your list. Here are some time management tips that will help you to utilize time in a qualitative manner:
- Start your day with most difficult high priority task. (This great tip is from Brian Tracy, author of 'Eat That Frog')
- Know when you do best & make maximum use of that time period.
- Consider delegating 'C' priority items.
- Check mails & reply to calls during your low productive hours.
- Always look for new ways of finishing work quicker. (Short cut keys, organized racks, filtering mails etc)
- Stop multitasking focus on one mini-project at a time.
We all have 24 hours in a day. Nobody wastes time. We just do less productive work most of the time! It's time to stop thinking quantity & start focusing on quality time management.