Maximize your “Pareto time” to transform your life

by | March 18, 2013

If I could convince you to read just three books this year, they would be:

  1. The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
  2. Willpower by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney
  3. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

Read any one of them alone and you’ll experience important insights. Read them consecutively and combine the wisdom and sparks will fly, epiphanies will explode, your life will be forever transformed.

From The Power of Full Engagement, we learn that managing energy, not time, is the key to high performance and personal renewal. Monumental, inestimable paradigm shift.

From Willpower we learn that 1) we have a finite amount of willpower that becomes depleted as we use it, and 2) we use the same stock of willpower for all manner of tasks.

Ah. Are you already connecting the dots? Willpower is one of the most foundational components of success. And managing our energy is critical to maximizing willpower; willpower is severely depleted when our energy is low.

And what’s the best way to manage energy?

Enter The Compound Effect, from which we learn that

“The key to becoming world-class in your endeavors is to build your performance around world-class routines.”

And the most important routine to manage, says Darren Hardy, is your morning routine.

Cue lights bursting, angels singing from the heavens.

Your morning routine is where it all comes together, the point of convergence of the most important success principles known to man, the most indispensable routine of the most successful people who have ever lived. It is the foundational routine of managing your energy.

This is so because of the Pareto Principle, which states that 80% of all our results are triggered by 20% of our activities.

A world-class morning routine consists of focusing wholeheartedly, investing uninterrupted energy doing the most important 20% of your activities.

As Darren Hardy writes,

“It can be difficult, even futile to predict or control what will show up in the middle of your workday. But you can almost always control how your day starts…”

It’s 7:00 in the morning as I write this. For me, writing is the single most important thing I can do to further my mission, grow my business, reach and impact more people. Writing is my Pareto activity.

Working from home with four young kids can be tough. By waking up at 5:30 a.m., I usually get at least two hours of focused, uninterrupted writing time. Really getting into flow. No business calls. No checking email. No social media. Pareto time, baby. It’s a beautiful thing.

What is your Pareto activity? What is the single most important activity in your life that generates the best results for you?

If you’re not already doing so, I challenge you to rearrange your schedule so that you have at least an hour or two every single morning to do your Pareto activity.

Make a commitment that you will not check your email or social media until you’ve had your morning Pareto time. Do it for thirty days and watch what happens to your life.

As John Maxwell teaches,

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

Stephen R. Covey would say that performing a morning Pareto routine is “fitting in the big rocks first.” You’ve seen his major-a-ha-moment demonstration, right?

It’s so easy to get caught up in urgent but unimportant things that we never get to the most important things in life. A Pareto morning routine ensures that you always get the important things done.

Read those three books. Identify your Pareto activity. Rearrange your morning routine to get focused, uninterrupted Pareto time.

Do that for thirty days, and I guarantee your life will never be the same.

(For tools to focus on the most important things in living your purpose, click here to download my free toolkit now.)

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