About a month ago I was listening to the Tim Ferris Show podcast and Tim brought up using the 80/20 rule to determine what to focus on, and what not to focus on in your life. Here's how Tim describes it:
So I'll look at the 20% that are the highest leverage positive things and I'll focus on those. I'll look at then the 20% most negative things that are consuming the most time, and try to eliminate those. There's quite a bit in-between that in the end, often takes care of itself, but really keeping your eye ball of your to-do list are the 80-20 positive, and the not-to-do list for the 80-20 negative is huge. When I'm really feeling overwhelmed, I actually focus on the negative, which is a good thing. I focus on eliminating as much as possible before I focus on doing more. What can I get rid of? What are the psychic anchors, that are like, tethering me to the ground where I'm trying to sprint forward, but I'm just dragging this weight behind me. What are those things?
If you know me, you know I love this kind of stuff. Any framework that helps me reflect and focus my time more efficiently is worth a shot. So I decided to start doing this on a monthly basis.
On October 1st I sat down and wrote out my 80/20 positive and 80/20 negative lists.
- I got to this one a bit early. In mid-September I deleted Snapchat off my phone and haven't missed it one bit. I would routinely waste time watching videos that I could care less about.
- To-Do: Delete Snapchat off my phone (done).
- Fantasy Football
- Last year I did three fantasy leagues, and it felt like a chore. This year I'm only doing two, and it's already more fun and takes up less of my time. Ideally next year I'll go down to one.
- To-Dos: Invest less time into fantasy football, and only pursue one fantasy league next year.
- Facebook is starting to become more and more useless. I'm not sure if it's the timeline algorithms or what, but I routinely see only a handful of people's posts in my timeline. And the amount of useless memes I have to read is mind-boggling, why isn't there a "block all memes" option???
- To-Do: Monitor my time on Facebook and try to use it less. Possibly deactivate my account if I find it useless come November.
- Working Out
- Since September 2015 (when I moved to Boulder), I've fallen off the wagon when it comes to working out. Part of this was my laziness, part of it was an illness I'm just now being cured of. When I don't workout for a week or more my mood drops, I don't sleep as well, and my metabolism slows. Overall my quality of life declines.
- To-Dos: Bike to work 2-3 times a week, get back into CrossFit, hike more.
- Nurture Friendships
- I've met a lot of great people out here in Colorado, but I really need to invest more time in these new friendships. I have a tendency to get to know people at a high-level and not dig deeper, even when I'm genuinely interested.
- To-Do: Spend more time actually getting to know people.
- Just be outdoors more. Hiking, camping, snowshoeing, snowboarding. It's all relaxing, fun, and usually a good workout.
That's it! Although many of the items on my list I've been thinking about beforehand, it's proven valuable to sit down and write them out. It really forces you to reflect deeper on your life and come away with actionable items.
What do your 80/20 lists look like?