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5 Ways to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Change Your World

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5 Ways to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Change Your World

Focus on your best assets and use them to create maximum value. This is the core principle behind the 80/20 rule. And it has helped businesses grow their revenues. Or individuals make the most out of their productive hours.

You’re curious about how you can apply it in your life. So let me share my take on how you can use the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, in five life domains: relationships, finances, hobbies, work, and business.

1. The People You Spend Time With

Applying the Pareto Principle in your relationships is quite tricky. There are emotions, attitudes, contexts, and other things you have to consider. At the same time, just because 20% of the people you spend time with make you the happiest doesn’t mean the rest is invaluable.

I’d like to put a twist, if you will, on the typical understanding of the 80/20 rule. Instead of identifying individuals, I’m starting with circles. These circles include my family, closest friends, work friends, startup founders network, tech geeks club, etc. Then, I’m going to ask which of these circles are bringing 80% of the value in my life?

That value is entirely subjective. I’m investing in various businesses, so my startup founders group is very important on my list right now. I also need a strong support system, and that’s composed of my family and closest friends. So my top 20% include these circles.

Now, what happens to the rest? Of course, I’m not going to avoid them and cancel all my commitments. They are humans, not things. But when it comes to saying no, I’m most likely going to turn down invites from the 80%. I’ll make an exception for those who are part of the 20% of these remaining circles. 

And that’s my last point for this section. Identify the top 20% of people in the circles belonging to your 80%. If it’s your kid’s school, maybe these are the 2 or 3 parents you often interact with. If it’s your gym, your instructor and another buddy could be the top candidates. If it’s a religious community, the spiritual leader. You get the drift.

2. The Things You Buy

5 Ways to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Change Your World

This part relates to money management. If you follow the 50/30/20 rule, you know this is the stuff adulting is made of. Quickly: This rule requires you to allot 50% of your monthly income to needs. Then 30% goes to wants while 20% automatically adds to savings.

So now you have 80% of your money being spent on things that are sustaining you at present. Meaning, you’re getting your end of the trade-off right away. You pay your utility bills, your electricity and water supplies keep your household running. And so does paying your mortgage. You increase your equity each time you pay the exact dues on time.

When viewed through the 80/20 rule, a good part of your spending is made for maximizing your value either through home ownership or basic needs management. This is like pointing out the obvious. But there are people who find it difficult to pay off debts because of wrong priorities. So using the Pareto Principle as a lens to understand the 50/30/20 rule may help them.

3. The Hobbies You Have

Be honest. What are your hobbies? And how many hours a day do you spend on them? Don’t worry, I’m not going to scold you because you binge-watch Netflix or play video games all day on Saturdays. We usually think about hobbies as harmless activities. But the 80/20 rule may have a different say on this.

If this principle is about maximizing value with your best assets, shouldn’t you be using your free time to do things that will nourish your body, mind, and soul? In this age of productivity, the time you can set aside for doing “nothing” is absolutely precious. Is Netflix going to maximize the value of your time? If you said yes, I would not argue that.

But look, what if you devote an hour to treating your loved one to a massage? Or finally learn how to play the piano? Or cuddle with your pet? Or study programming, investing, or the like? The activity depends on your definition of valuable. The 80/20 rule is just a reminder to make the most of those “free” hours.

4. The Hours You Put Into Work

5 Ways to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Change Your World

The 80/20 Principle can also be applied to work productivity! Mark Manson wrote an awesome article about it. And he started by acknowledging that not all jobs are created equal. That means if you’re doing menial labor every day, the idea that working two hours produces twice the output as working an hour pretty much applies.

But when it comes to doing creative work, you’re more likely to be working for diminishing returns the more you slave away at your laptop. That is, you don’t produce twice the output by working 16 hours instead of 8. In fact, you’re going to make a minimal impact in the last 8 hours. 

Sometimes, it would be better if you did nothing in those times. Why? Because those extra hours you’re putting in leaves you vulnerable to making bad choices and decisions. Then you’re going to work on fixing the bad stuff the next day. And so you’re now working for negative returns. The Pareto Principle is all about making the best use of your best hours. That’s how you produce great work!

5. The Clients You Accommodate/Customers You Target

If you’re running a company, it’s easy to fall into the trap of saying yes to everyone. You don’t want to pass up an opportunity. So you’re practically donating your services to someone. This is the same for solopreneurs or anyone who’s starting out in business.

Why don’t we use the 80/20 rule to help you maximize your opportunities? 

According to the Pareto rule, 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients. Let’s look at your clients as assets. If these 20% are your best assets, what characteristics do they have in common? Once you’ve figured out the answer, you should start looking for clients with similar characteristics.

This is the same for many businesses. You can apply the Pareto Principle in targeting new customers. You look at your best-performing segment and profile the customers. And then you advertise or reach out to audiences like them.

Final Thoughts

The 80/20 rule has many applications in our life, whether it’s personal or professional. But remember, it’s not a hard-and-fast mathematical law. Your computation does not always have to be 80 to 20. Sometimes, it’s 85/15 or 75/25. And when you’re applying it to things like relationships, the numbers become highly subjective.

So when you’re starting to get confused, return to this guide. It may not answer all your questions. But it will help you find a safe ground to land on and begin again.

Habits

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

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9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

Starting mornings the right way is essential to having a productive day – an overall fulfilling day is more like it. I always stress on waking up early, if you don’t already you can look for ways to help you wake up early or if it is not feasible to your schedule then you can still follow a routine that lets you have a wholesome day.

When deciding how to prepare for the day after waking up, the best option is to develop a morning routine. An activity that is constantly repeated on a daily basis, especially, in the mornings can turn out to be pretty effective at helping you be ready to meet the requirements of the day. And if you are unable to come up with any morning routine ideas that can turn out to be effective for you, here are a few suggestions to help you out.

1. Get Some Exercise

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

One of the most common morning routines is exercise. And if you are facing a pretty busy day ahead, then some exercise will definitely get you ready to see through the day successfully. You don’t need to do any heavy workouts. Instead, some pretty light stretching and jumping should get your muscles and joints relaxed. Else, you might end up feeling stiff all day. Going for a quick run can help you get the much-needed exercise too. Exercising will also make you fully awake and ensure that you don’t feel too sleepy in the office all day long.

2. Meditate

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

Spending a few minutes meditating is also a very good idea for a morning routine. Usually, once a person is awake, the mind remains cloudy for some time. Doing some meditation early in the morning can help a person focus and have clarity of thought right away. Plus, meditation will also calm the mind, help you face the hustle and bustle of the working environment in a composed manner without feeling stressed out. 

Ideally, you should learn a few meditation techniques from a personal teacher rather than trying to learn it from the internet. This will ensure that you are able to mediate in a proper manner every morning because there are different types of meditations that focus on different things. I use the Headspace app for meditating daily.

3. Create a Schedule For the Day

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

If you are someone who has trouble managing your day-to-day tasks, then a good morning routine for you would be to plan out your schedule for the entire day. Just sit down for a few minutes, think about the activities you have to do for the day and the activities you want to do; make lists of the activities that need to be done along with the total time required for completing them. With proper time management, you can even squeeze in some of the activities that you want to do like going to a movie, visiting your friends, and so on.   

4. Read the News or Informative Articles

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

Why not make the morning routine something enlightening? Turn on your laptop or tablet and read the major news of the day. This will get you up-to-date with all the current events that are happening around you. So, the next time someone at work talks about the incident at the football match, you will know what they are talking about and can chime in with your opinions too. 

5. Budgeting

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

If you are a money-minded person who is very careful about where you spend the money, then budgeting for the day will be a fun way to start off the morning. Think about the expenses you will be incurring for the day and write them down. 

Compare it to your monthly budget and make sure that the expense for the day is not too much that it pushes the monthly budget to the higher side. Preparing such a daily budget every morning will allow you to regulate your daily expenditure and ensure that you never spend more than what you earn.   

6. View Inspirational Videos

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

In case you work in an area where you need to constantly keep yourself motivated, then the best way to start the day will be by watching an inspirational video. This is in tune with starting your day with positive affirmations or inspirational thoughts.

Find out some short motivational videos on a weekly basis and assign them to the upcoming days. This way, all you have to do is to watch the video once you wake up. Watching such videos first thing in the morning should pump you up and help you power through your day.

7. Do Something Fun With Your Loved Ones

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

Just search for some fun activities to do every morning and make sure to do them every day. And, if you haven’t been able to connect with your spouse because of work pressure, then this morning routine will definitely ease things between the two of you. If you have kids, you can also set aside some time in the morning to be with your children. 

8. Take a Walk

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

Taking a walk in the morning is one of the oldest morning routines practiced in the world. Earlier, people used to walk to a nearby shop to get some vegetables and other grocery items for the day. You, too, can do the same and benefit from a morning walk. Or, if you have a park near to your home, then you can walk there and take in the freshness of the morning air. You can also go for a jog instead of a simple walk. This should flex out your muscles and help you get rid of the stiffness you feel when you wake up.

9. Drink Some Water

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

Finally, did you know that drinking water every morning is also a routine? Yep. Apparently, many people have made this activity their morning routine in a bid to start off their day on a healthy note. After all, your body will be dehydrated from the previous night’s sleep. 

So, if you try to do any physical activity without recharging yourself with water, you might feel immediate exhaustion. But, when you do drink a glass of water right after you wake up, you will have rehydrated your body and will be able to do any activity without feeling tired.  

Final Thoughts

Anything that motivates you to go about your day with positivity and a healthy feeling counts. It isn’t necessary to follow all the things that other people do. The important thing is to do things that make the most sense to you as an individual. Your routine can be as simple as not skipping breakfast even when you are running late or starting your day with a cold shower. Anything that helps you have a better day counts!

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Self Improvement

Why You Should Spend Five Hours a Week Learning

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Why You Should Spend Five Hours a Week Learning

Though there are many qualities that contribute to a person’s success, one thing that stands out is that successful people are always hungry for new and deeper knowledge. And to this end, they will always make time to learn, whether it is a new skill, discovery, ideology, or anything that satiates their never-ending curiosity.

In contrast, unsuccessful people can be characterized by a general apathy towards knowledge. Such people essentially have no interest in learning new things or improving themselves. And if you are a dreamer who wants to succeed, then you should definitely consider spending about five hours a week to absorb new knowledge.  

Why Spend Five Hours Per Week Learning New Things?

Why You Should Spend Five Hours a Week Learning

You know what is common between Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Warren Buffet? In addition to being very successful, all three have a shared quality – they spend at least five hours per week to learn new things. So, why 5 hours a week?  

Firstly, everyone is busy with their lives and they hardly find enough time to sit and read. But 5 hours per week is something that is doable and practical. In fact, we can bet that most people will easily be able to assign 5 hours of their life each week to learning something new.

Secondly, 5 hours per week is considered sufficient enough for you to acquire knowledge and skills. In fact, Josh Kauffman, the author of the famous book ‘The Personal MBA’ estimates that it takes about 20 hours for an average person to learn something new

So, considering 5 hours per week for a month that consists of four weeks, you can theoretically learn a new skill every month. Not on the deep end, but certainly something workable.

Tips For Mastering New Knowledge and Achieving Success

Once you decide to implement the five hours per week learning plan, you can follow the below tips to make it effective and achieve the best possible result from your learning process.  

Plan The Timings

Why You Should Spend Five Hours a Week Learning

The first thing to do will be to plan out the learning schedule. Without setting a clear goal as to when you will learn, you are likely to fall prey to procrastination. As a result, you might keep postponing your learning, and may end up never making time for it. 

To avoid such possibilities you should set a clear time schedule. And the time you select must be the most appropriate of times when your mind is ready to absorb new ideas – knowing when your mind is at its sharpest is the key here.

For example, suppose that you are busy with work and are only free Saturday evenings and Sundays. You might think of cranking an hour a day from Monday to Friday as your learning time. 

But if you are always mentally exhausted from work, then the hour you spend on learning may not be effective since your mind may not absorb the new information completely. Do not do for the sake of doing. Focus, improve, and get it right.

As such, it is better to schedule a five-hour session on Saturday evening, or split it into two sessions for Saturday and Sunday. This will ensure you only learn new things when your mind is fresh and ready to absorb ideas. And if you are troubled with procrastination, make sure you get rid of that habit for good.  

If you have a tendency to put off things and not commit even though you wish you could, there is a tried-and-tested method to incorporate new habits. Suppose you want to start reading every day, then you need to combine this with an existing routine. Like, do this after a regular routine habit like breakfast or lunch or work – the first thing after an everyday activity. This way, it is difficult to forget about this, and you’ll be able to cultivate a new habit in no time. This is basically Habit Stacking.

Decide What To Learn

Why You Should Spend Five Hours a Week Learning

The next thing to do is to have a clear plan as to what it is you wish to learn. Ideally, it should relate to something that can help you acquire a new skill and develop your professional as well as personal life. However, you should not shy away from trying to learn things that are completely unrelated.

Draw up a list of subjects you wish to explore, find out the best sources of information for the subjects, and then come up with a learning plan that details how you will go about learning according to the time schedule.

For example, imagine you work as a sales consultant at a stock market trading company. For a particular month, you can focus on learning about human psychology – especially topics that cover a person’s psyche when evaluating a profitable opportunity.

Find good resources on the topic, arrange those resources, and divide them into weekly portions that you can finish in 5 hours each week. In addition, you can also throw in a two hour documentary about Japanese Jujitsu, if you find it interesting.    

Think About What You Learned

Once you have learned a subject matter, take a few hours to reflect on what you just learned. Just mugging up information won’t make you smart. Only when you understand what you learn can you truly claim to have learned about something. And a good way to do this will be to associate what you have learned to real-life situations.

For example, suppose that you spent your entire learning time for the week reading up on the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Now, think about the possibilities of what you have learned. If you are a teacher, look at how the AI development is going to affect the future of education.

And while thinking about it, you might come to realize that children are currently taught in an inefficient way. And by using AI, the children can be taught the same subject matter in a way that makes them comprehend it much better.

Practice What You Learn

Once you have acquired knowledge and reflected upon it, it is time to put it into practice. Otherwise, the knowledge will be of no use to you (or others). If you wish to achieve success, then knowledge alone is insufficient. You will have to act on that knowledge at opportune times.  

Teach Others The Things You Learn 

Why You Should Spend Five Hours a Week Learning

Finally, don’t keep your knowledge to yourself. If anyone is interested in learning from you, consider teaching them everything you know. This has two benefits. Firstly, the people who learn from you will respect you. Secondly, the more you share your knowledge, the better your understanding of it will be.  

So, be sure to never remain cooped up in your own world. Instead, learn as much as you can about the things you find interesting. And slowly but surely, you will find that your life’s on a sure-shot path to success.  

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Self Improvement

6 Tips to Help You Become an Alpha For Achieving Success

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6 Tips to Help You Become an Alpha For Achieving Success

When it comes to self-development for men, the word ‘alpha’ gets thrown around a lot. An alpha mostly refers to the top-most male in a group, the successful one. And becoming an alpha is essentially a process of transforming oneself into a state where you are naturally seen as the ‘best among men’. To help you out in your quest to become an alpha, I list below six simple tips.

1. Confidence, Not Arrogance

Many people tend to confuse being confident as being arrogant when it comes to the topic of alpha behavior. Though it is a false notion, it is understandable why people may think this way. The main reason is that being an alpha is equated with aggressiveness.

And someone who is aggressive also tends to be quite arrogant; always trying to dominate every person and treating others as if they are beneath them. While this can also be called alpha behavior, there is a big difference between an arrogant alpha and a confident alpha.

An arrogant alpha will never get respect from other people. And even if they manage to get any respect, it will fade away as people get fed up with their arrogant ways. In contrast, a confident alpha evokes respect from others. In fact, people will, out of their own free will, choose to follow a confident alpha. And it is this type of alpha that you must aim to become – the confident one, not the arrogant one.

2. Physical Appearance

First, let us be clear about one thing – alpha behavior is not directly linked to your physical appearance like being tall and well built. After all, some of the biggest conquerors in the world, like Alexander, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon, were all pretty average looking people with average or less than average height. Having said that, we must also face the reality that having a good physical appearance does help to cement in your alpha status.

Your height is not something you can improve, but your body is. So, if you have an average body with a slight potbelly, then it is time that you start working on it. Dedicate a few months to intense workouts and diet regimen, and you will be in the best of shape. As a result, you may find that you have a far easier time asserting your ‘alphaness’ than previously. Being in the best shape gives you the confidence to carry yourself with more poise because you feel good about yourself.

3. Body Language

If there is one thing that will scream an alpha attitude, it is your body language. The power of an alpha body language is such that you don’t even have to say a single word for people to perceive you as an alpha. You might even have come across such people in your life – men who just walk into a room and easily get everyone to talk to them with respect even though they themselves haven’t uttered a single word.

Unlike building a muscular body, developing an alpha body language is a far more difficult task. This is mostly because body language works on the subconscious level. Even if you try to fake an alpha body language, your real behavior and attitude will inevitably seep through at some point and reveal to others that you were only faking being an alpha. So, it is better to try and invest some time in developing an alpha body language. By doing so, all your actions will naturally have a sign of ‘alphaness’.

4. Must Have Vast Knowledge

6 Tips to Help You Become an Alpha For Achieving Success

There is a kind of alpha who gains immense respect – the one that knows everything. Such people are almost walking encyclopedias, knowing everything. If you ask them about quantum physics, the best way of cooking chicken, or the right way to install an Android update; they will always have an answer. And the people around them inevitably see them with a certain kind of respect.

So, if you are not the type of guy who likes to spend hours at the gym but is more interested in learning about new things, then this is perfect for you. Read on whatever topics interest you, research them fully, and develop a deep understanding of everything you wish to know. The knowledge you accumulate, over the years, will eventually become the key to being an alpha.  

5. Be Completely Self-Reliant

You must also learn to be self-reliant. This does not mean that you never seek out the help of another person. That is just ridiculously impossible in this world.  Being self-reliant essentially means that you are capable of handling most of your affairs by yourself. If you observe alpha people, you will see that they mostly never depend on other people to perform their tasks. Instead, those who are alpha do everything by themselves.

And by doing so, they project a kind of independence that people will admire. After all, people who are perceived as independent will inevitably gain more respect than those who are seen as dependent. As such, it is essential that you start becoming a more self-reliant human being rather than depending on other people.

6. Develop Leadership Skills

6 Tips to Help You Become an Alpha For Achieving Success

A big characteristic of being an alpha is leadership skills. This is why army generals, business CEOs, political leaders, etc. are always treated by people with a sense of respect. As such, it is imperative that you also develop your leadership skills. If you have been shying away from taking positions of power, then you must overcome that hurdle.

When the next opportunity of being a leader comes your way, accept it and try to do a good job. The first few times might be rough and you may even turn out to be inefficient. But slowly, with experience, you will start to see what it takes to lead and what qualities you must develop and exhibit in order to make people follow you.

When you have naturally entered into such a mindset, you will have developed a strong alpha attitude. You won’t be running away from leadership responsibilities anymore. Instead, you will search for them and naturally position yourself as an alpha.

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