Focusing Efforts to Improve Outcomes

We often have big ambitions, but limited attention and energy resources to complete our tasks during the day. Here are several proven strategies on how to maximize your efforts to see big returns in your life.

  • Multiple Goals with One Activity: Select activities that meet 2, 3, 4 or more of your goals or needs to maximize return on your efforts. For example, a martial arts class can promote your fitness, friend time, stress relief, self-defense, skills development, etc.
  • 20/80 Rule: Determine the 20% of your efforts that yield 80% of your returns, and refocus your efforts on that 20%. Repeat.
  • Translate Knowledge to Seemingly Unrelated Activities: Apply and leverage your knowledge or skills from one area to another activity to accelerate your results. This can include skills, muscle memory, cognitive or physical abilities, etc.
  • Big-picture Thinking: Understand and gather information about all stages of a process, from your starting point to your desired end point. Identify the common pitfalls or bottleneck, and focus your efforts there to develop innovative solutions or expertise that will increase the likelihood of success.
  • Capturing Essence: Determine the essence of a person or activity (what makes that thing unique or one-of-a-kind) and engage with that aspect.
  • Address the Root Cause: Identify the true source of a problem, in contrast to symptoms, and correct it.