Day 10 — 20% Per Project

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December 2020

There are many different tools to deal with prioritization. Today I’ll be writing about small-scale prioritization — what to focus on within a project rather than what project to focus on.

Sometimes when you work on a project you care about, you may deal with perfectionism. It’s valuable at times, but other times it’s an excuse to hide it from the public. This is where Pareto’s principle & Parkinson’s law blend together nicely.

Pareto’s Principle (80/20 rule) — 20% of your inputs produce 80% of your outputs.

Parkinson’s law — “work expands to fill the time allotted.” In simpler terms, create deadlines.

These two mesh well together because creating deadlines forces you to focus on the most important 20%. It’s phenomenal for fighting perfectionism.

Want to take it to another level? Add an accountability partner. I work better with external accountability rather than self-imposed deadlines, so if you can find a friend to message about deadlines, you’ll add an extra step for accountability. Text them about whatever project you’re working on, and follow up with each other throughout the week.

This tends to produce strong accountability ties, which enhances the effectiveness of deadlines (and in turn the 80/20 rule).

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by Amaan