You’ve probably heard of the 80:20 rule by now. My take on it as it relates to my ADD – ADHD is…
20% of all you’re doing to make your business work, or meet your goals is the most important to focus on.
80% of what you’re doing is not directly affecting anything. It’s equivalent to throwing wet toilet tissue up on the wall – and eventually enough sticks that you can call it “art”. You won’t make any money with it though. It’s not great art.
Focusing 80% of your time and energy on the 20% of tasks that directly affect your income now is the best strategy… using 20% of your time to throw wet wads of tissue up on the wall.
I’ve mentioned 100 times that I have Attention Deficit Disorder & Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD / ADHD) to a high degree.
When I’m working on things my mind is going everywhichway. I might be writing this post and I can hear the chickens outside which changes my attention to them. Then I hear a motorbike fly by – and my mind goes with it. Then I can hear some crackling of paper or plastic bag that the wind from the fan is hitting and it’s driving me insane and I have to get up and stop it. As I get up I realize I didn’t shower yet. I go shower. I come back to the computer, but before I do I think about what time I need to go exercise and if it looks like rain or not. I go outside and check for rain. I realize – it’s cold. I shut off the fan. I come back to the computer – reading everything I wrote before because I’ve forgotten it. While doing that I hear the dogs barking… and so on.
ADD – ADHD is a horrible thing – in my case it’s like an ultra-awareness of every single part of sensory experience. It’s only overwhelming if you’re trying to do something else – which I usually am – I’m trying to focus on one thing. It is rather impossible to fight so I roll with it. Sometimes there are good days and sometimes not so good.
To have ADHD is a mind wrecker and the sooner you attack it and start setting yourself up with hacks to fix it, the better. Have you seen the ADHD Kid site that has many facts about it? It’s a site I’ve been working on to try to help people get straight facts and helpful lifehacks for dealing with the disorder.
I wanted to put some effort into this 80:20 rule for the next couple days, weeks… or maybe just today and see what happens. I’ll write down my daily goals with an emphasis on the 80:20 and see if I can make myself stick to them.
Things like email, Twitter, Google Reader and other things that I call essentials, really aren’t. They are distractions and part of the 80% that’s aren’t benefiting me directly. I’ll slow those up and put them in the 20% pool of time.
Actually, I’ll try to stay offline most of the day writing because that doesn’t require me to be online. I use this great program in my FireFox browser called, “ScribeFire” that allows me to compose blog posts quickly and with a little extra formatting that I can’t get in my WordPress text editor. I need not be online because it’s all saved to my computer’s hard disk.
I’ll write up a schedule for today…
7-8: look at email, stats, reader, twitter and respond to essentials
8-9: write blog post for aimforawesome.com. Check that blog post that was set to drip, dripped
9-10: add content to 30 day e-learning project
10:30: take friend to work
11:00: pick up some lunch on the way home so I don’t need to go out again for it
11:30: record some screencapture video and voice overlay for e-learning project
14:00: take a shower and go get some exercise if it’s too hot, otherwise stay and do more screencapt’s
15:00: FTP into new client’s account and download all files – have a brief look at code to see what I’m dealing with
16:00: Write content for big client and finish up one site today
19:00: Create YouTube video of snake and joysthaifood.com video of dinner last night. Write more content for new site
22:00: Sleep or watch DVD
Keep in mind that the 80:20 rule is for everything I’m doing for my business goals… it has nothing to do with dropping my friend off at work or eating meals or showering. Those are subtracted out of the equation.
So – looking at hours above, I’m focused on things that will directly affect my income for 9.5 hours and throwing paper wads for 2 hours. That’s roughly 80:20 and if I accomplish this – I’ll be quite happy. I’ll also be doing things that are not work-related for 3 hours.
Usually what I do is leave internet on all day and respond throughout the day to email, blog posts, and tweets at Twitter. I think a huge portion of my day is spent doing this because I’m just not focused enough.
Usually when I write up a “to do” list I jot down main tasks to accomplish without any time frame. I never use hours. What happens then is that I spend all the time between the main tasks looking at email, Google Reader, using Twitter, chat and everything else that isn’t doing anything for my bottom line.
Last week I turned off the internet for a day and realized it was my most productive day of the week. The internet aggravates my ADD – ADHD, but, since that’s the path I chose for my life’s work – it’s a necessary evil.
Did you ever try shutting the computer off for a whole day?
Best of life!