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The Pareto Principle and Tim Ferriss


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I’ve been re-reading Tim Ferriss’ book The 4-Hour Workweek, mainly to get ready for the release of his latest book The 4-Hour Chef. I figure since I’m not exactly known for my cooking skills and this book is supposed to not only help with cooking but show you how to learn new skills quickly that it will be right up my alley when it is released. (I didn’t get his third book The 4-Hour Body. My idea of physical fitness is exercising my fingers at this keyboard and taking a walk with the dogs. I probably need to though!)

This book reminded me of how the Pareto principle applies to our lives. For instance, 20% of what we do accounts for 80% of what makes us happy and content. Since I am happiest writing my ebooks (and waste increasingly larger blocks of time on Facebook), I do believe he’s right.

His main strategy for success is to focus on the 20% that makes you happiest (or most successful) and strive to reduce if not eliminate the 80% that doesn’t. It’s a really good plan, actually. As I mentioned in my latest book, if you eliminate the things that aren’t important, you make room for the things that are. This can range the gamut from spending time with family, learning a new skill or building a business.

My largest time wasters are Facebook, email, phone conversations and news. I want to reduce the time I spend in these areas so that I can apply that time to my books and this website. I intend to limit checking my Facebook and email to twice a day and refresh myself on Tim’s tips to limit the length of the phone conversations I have to take. I am also going to post a note on my laptop to remind me to stop if I catch myself mindlessly checking my email, clicking on Facebook or opening a news website and make myself stop.

I also plan to take a few more breaks during the day—which may help with my concentration as I work (oh look—squirrel!).

What are your largest time wasters? Please share your stories in the comments below.



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3 Comments

  1. Laurie wrote:

    My biggest time waster is repeatedly checking my email, and facebook. I have already assigned break time to cleaning house, late night breaks are reserved for blog reading. I could get by without the email checks, but I’m addicted to seeing if I have work available.

    Friday, November 16, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink
  2. Annie wrote:

    I know the feeling about being addicted to checking for work Laurie! Hang in there!

    Friday, November 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink
  3. Bj wrote:

    Hm. . . this article made me think. I had been considering getting DirectTv as they have a good deal going on with a free $200 cash card, but perhaps not a good idea. I’ve lived without any cable/satellite TV for about three years and am pretty sure if I had it, would waste time watching it.

    As for current time hogs, I have already cut down last year on how much time I spend browsing various websites (aside from required research) as it had gotten to be too much, but I stil do check email quite often and could probably do with reducing that.

    Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink
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