This is a piece of advice from The Four Hour Work Week that I need to re-learn and re-apply on a regular basis:
Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.
Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant. Being selective – doing less – is the path of the productive. Focus on the important few and ignore the rest.
Of course, before you can separate the wheat from the chaff and eliminate activities in a new environment (whether a new job or an entrepreneurial venture), you will need to try a lot to identify what pulls the most weight. Throw it all up on the wall and see what sticks. That’s part of the process, but it should not take more than a month or two.
It’s easy to get caught in a flood of minutiae, and the key to not feeling rushed is remembering that lack of time is actually lack of priorities. Take time to stop and smell the roses – or in this case, to count the pea pods.*Tim Ferriss – The 4-Hour Work Week
80/20… which it turns out I haven’t written a post about. Yet.
*This is a reference to economist Vilfredo Pareto (of “The Pareto Principle”), who found evidence of his 80/20 principle even among garden peas.