Sunday, September 19, 2010

The 50 20 Rule, Which Really Works!

Have you heard of the 80-20 rule? It goes like this. It is the top 20% of your clients who contribute to 80% of your wealth; or the top 20% of your hard work which determines 80% of your success.

If you are writing for peanuts, then you are obviously focusing on the 80%, when you need to be aiming for the smaller, higher paying projects.

But time is always so limited. Raise your hand if you can honestly say you find the time to write without distraction? Mine comes in the form of a 6 and 4 year old with boundless energy. Yours may be a home that needs repair, a job that is demanding, social networking sites to which you are addicted, or endless phone calls which need to be attended to.

This is when you need to apply the 50-20 rule. I learnt this from an article by Steve Slaunwhite who in turn learnt it from marketing guru Dean Jackson. Jackson calls it the 50-minute focus technique.

It is simple and it really works. Set aside 50 minutes for your writing. It could be a new article you are working on, or a blog post that needs to be created. Set an alarm to ring after the 50 minutes are up. And then, get to work. You are not allowed to do anything else. No getting up for water, to answer the phone, or to make that cup of coffee you feel you need right away.

You will write and do nothing else. When the timer goes, take a 20 minute break. During this time, you can work, but make sure it is on another project. Check emails, sort out your finances, make a cup of coffee, tweet, network with Facebook friends, or just get up to stretch.

Try to get in 3-4 of these 50 minute work sessions into your day. They really do work. Why? Because you know after your 50 minutes, you are allowing yourself a break to do as you will. This in itself can be motivation to get you to complete your projects at hand.

What do you do to work without distraction?

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