I have written earlier about doing an 80/20 of your activities in your day. While I use the concept along with the Prioritisation Matrix suggested by B.J.Fogg in his book Tiny Habits, I used it primarily to save time so that I don’t end up finishing tasks that don’t have too much return on invested time. A lot of times I used to feel exhausted at the end of the day, but when I would look at the achievement , there was nothing to show for it.
It was like I was always walking on a treadmill, burning calories but getting nowhere. That’s where Richard Koch’s 80/20 rule and in a different way the Prioritisation Matrix have helped me considerably. Now everyday in the morning I look at my To-Do list which I keep updating on my phone. Then I put down on this matrix each of the tasks that need to be done in terms of their scale of impact and my ability to influence the outcome.
The benefit of this is that even if I do only the tasks which have a high impact and my ability to influence is high then at the end of the day I would have still achieved considerably more.
Why am I explaining all this to you. Well today was one such day. It was supposed to have started early and I would have done all my meditation and focused sitting before starting office work. But as I got up my wife complained of fever. So I had t replan my day completely while keeping my customer and internal meetings intact. There was quite a bit of overwhelm through the day. I did not achieve a lot of the items on my To-Do list for today. But I still achieved 90% of my highest priority tasks which ensured that I was considerably effective inspite of the challenges I had all day.
If you also have a lot of tasks on your daily To-Do list and you get overwhelmed, seeing your life pass by while you seem to be not getting anywhere, try the 80/20 rule. Once you focus and take affirmative action with a clear indication on what will have the most impact for you, it will definitely change a lot of things for you. Let me know in the comments below if this practice helps you.ichard
Till next time then.
Last week I put up a post in which I highlighted the top issues that we need to focus on when looking at the product management in a technology environment. Product Management being a subset of marketing, some of the core items remain the same. However the focus changes a little. In my opinion, B2B technology buying needs to prioritize as follows:
- Understanding the ecosystem for technology adoption
- Getting footfalls (incase of a store) or hits on your website or people coming to your webinar
- Cost of various media to get you the traffic
- Cost of converting the footfall into a buying public
Perry Marshall calls items 2-4 as Traffic, Conversion and Economics. The reason I put the ecosystem first is because there’s a huge dependency on the existing infrastructure for the technology to be adopted. Most technology products that fail are because the ecosystem did not exist for the adoption.
Since 80/20 is fractal within each of these there’s a further 80/20 which exists. So within each database/list, there could be about 20% who would respond 80% of the times or even within the ecosystem there could be a 4% which accounts for the 64% of the ecosystem dependency.
If you are able to identify the few challenges in the ecosystem that you will face which can have a major impact on the success of your product, addressing them will ease your product launch or product entry or penetration dramatically. Its the small hinges which move doors in all areas.
Till next time then
A few posts back I had written a post on how giving too many choices actually reduces the chance of success.
I used to hear a lot of gurus in the stock market talk about being focused with not more than 10-15 stocks to get the best returns. If you read the Wealth Creation studies by Raamdeo Aggarwal, he gives a lot of examples of how being focused can give much higher returns. If you want average returns then you can just take an Index ETF.
The other day I was listening to an interview of Garrett Gunderson with Joe Polish on YouTube. And he happened to mention this term in passing and it kind of stuck with me. Garrett has written a very nice book Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths that are Destroying your Prosperity.
Even in marketing if you try to do too many things trying to see which will succeed is because you are not sure of yourself either on your offering or on your market or a whole lot of other things. Most of the time we try to do multiple things at the testing stage to see what sticks and what falls. But once you start seeing what sticks you need to start improving on that. You can’t be testing multiple variables simultaneously. It never works.
You cannot be testing multiple offerings in different markets and also seeing which message works. I have done this at different times and flopped badly. Sometimes these were done because I fell in love with multiple brands and thought I could get them launched at the same time but then eventually realized I could not do justice to all of them. It was definitely my ignorance then. At other times I was in a tight spot and had to somehow get something moving and thought at least if a try so many things simultaneously, I will be able to get success somewhere.
Eventually I have come down to some very specific things for B2B marketing. I need to identify only one target market and niche it as much as possible when I am launching a new product / service. If your segmentation is done well and then you get your database / list based on that you have already come a long way. After that you test your messaging.
The 80/20 that I have been talking about in the last few posts is exactly the opposite of diversification. Its about focus and the knowledge which comes from focus. Like the image above, a few colors in a pattern can give a good look but putting too many colors on the same rug, assuming some one will like some color is ignorance.
Whether its finance or marketing or even other areas of your life you can spread your self, diversify and be shallow and ignorant or go deep, focus and be knowledgeable and get great results.
Till next time then.
In my previous post I worte about how the 80/20 rule is fractal and how you can go narrower to identify those few things which if done consistently can produce massive benefits.
Inspite of my knowing this whole basis of producing amazing results by focusing on a few things, I still get side tracked – whether its my daily activities or my marketing plans.
While there are multiple reasons in my everyday life, its again just a few hinges which move me away dramatically from my set plan for the day and my top 3 would be
- Suddenly called meetings by internal and external customers – which not only take up time, because there is no agenda fixed in advance they also end up you not having all the answers, but also ends up aligning one more set of meetings. If there are flare-ups as part of these meetings, then you also end up getting into meetings with your team members immediately to figure out a solution
- Lack of sleep – this is another big one. If I don’t get at the least seven to 8 hours of sleep in the night, then my productivity and creativity levels both are at a low all through the day and which makes me sluggish in doing everything.. A double whammy in this is if I have slept late and then got up late but without my 7+ hours of sleep. Then not only am I sluggish, I am also running behind schedule on multiple things which gets me to skip through essential morning routines, which is even more counter productive. Being responsible to teams in different time zones across the world, this is a situation which occurs very often.
- Phone calls
Identifying the issues that are derailing you is the first step. Building guard-rails is the next. For the first two I have not been able to figure out really well defined ways to solve. For the third I am becoming more successful on a daily basis. I keep my phone on vibration and don’t pick a call whose number I don’t recognise, as starters. In addition I try to get down to ding calls only after I have finished my top priorities of the day are.
Tomorrow we will look at things which sidetrack the prioritized marketing plans
I would love to hear from you if you have found ways to handle the first 2 challenges that I have listed. Pls put them in the comments below.
Till next time then.