Tuesday, November 6, 2012

80/20 Thinking


I've just read and reviewed this book over at Creative Women's Circle. I sort of had to wade through a lot of the business-y stuff that doesn't compute to my often-sleep-deprived brain but I'm pretty sure I got the gist of it. 80 percent of results often come from 20 percent of what we do. It's just a matter of choosing the right stuff to do and scaling back on the things you're spending 80 percent of your time on but only getting 20 percent of results in return (aherm, the internet blackhole?).

The book says that if we adjust what we spend our time on, how much effort we put into things (more effort into activities that will pay off, less effort into the stuff that doesn't), and generally re-assess what we're doing and why, we could be happier, have more cash and have a heap more time for the things we love. Well, easier said than done. But it does bear thinking about...

I've had an unfinished painting sitting on my easel for the last few months and finally, last week, I decided to pull my finger out and finish it. And I felt so good that I immediately started the next painting. I now feel a sense of focus about my art and a strong sense of where I want to go with it. But I have to keep prioritising it when often, honestly, it's easy not to. The dirty dishes call, miscellaneous errands beckon, random 'good ideas' arrive and of course, there's the internet.

I'm trying to be a bit more methodical about my internet use too and limit it to a couple of times a day. Not just jumping on any old time to see what's happening. It sucks you in like a crazy virtual vortex. No more! Get on, do what you need to do, get off. Go and paint. Or (more often) rear children. And then paint.

The ultimate goal is to spend 80 percent of my time on what I love. Surely it can be done.