Time and doability
Maximizing time and results
The 80/20 Principle
Two other factors
But, what about fun?
OK, now what do I do in order to implement this?


"Geez, how can I learn it all.  It's hopeless."

No, that is an incorrect perception (or belief).

No, you can't "have it all", you can't have every conceivable thing you can think of as desirable.

The problem is time.  That is what they call in mathematics the "limiting constraint" or in project management the "critical component" (as in automobiles, it is critical to have enough engines...).

As in mathematics and economics, we look for how to get the most from the limiting constraint.


We also look at how to maximize the multiplier in terms of skills in using time itself - which, of course, makes alot of sense.  That is called "being efficient".  It is doing something correctly as it should be done, using one's time well.

However, the biggest difference in your life will come from learning not simply how to do something efficiently but how to be effective in what you do.  No matter how efficient you are in doing the wrong thing (or a low payoff thing), you are still doing the wrong thing (or a lower payoff thing).  You can efficiently climb a ladder, but it does not create anything for you if it is leaning against the wrong wall.  It would be a more effective use of your time to learn which wall to lean it against. 

What we do to get the most out of life is to decide and "look" to see what will give us the biggest bang for our buck, the biggest return for our time.  

In economics, a vital concept is "diminishing marginal returns", which simply means that every time we exert extra (= marginal) time and effort we are getting less return than on the previous unit of effort - our returns are diminishing - yikes!

We take a bite of a delicious dessert and we get a huge benefit.  The next few bites are also great, but then, though you may not notice it, there is a little less pleasure for each bite - and if you keep on eating you might even get a negative return - a stomach ache, a sugar reaction, and weight gain. 


The most famous rule around this is the rule under Pareto's Principle:   The most important 20% of something produces 80% of the results.    The other 80% of your effort produces the 20% left over.  (This is why perfectionists have such low returns in their lives!  They are suffering from diminishing marginal returns - i.e. there is alot of effort for the very small return of perfecting something.)

If you could do something that could produce 5,000 "beneficial units" and there were diminishing marginal returns, you would perhaps do the initial learning and implementing up to about 20% of the effort you could put into getting all the units possible.  Then you would "look" again, but at your other possibilities, to see if there is another "something" that you could get more benefit from for your time - and if there is one, you would simply do that one instead of continuing in this one.  The point is to pile up the greatest number of beneficial units to your life by harvesting what provides the most beneficial units per amount of time.

If you use this principle, you'll get 400% of the normal good results in life.  And, if you use a modification of it in areas with no limits (such as money), you can get 1600%, and then 6400% and then 27600% - and so on. 

It might behoove you to understand the Pareto Principle and to learn to Live The 80/20 Way


Now, there are two other key factors here. 

1.  How do I learn where the next highest return for my time will be?

2.  How can I avoid getting sucked up in distractions or in being too loose with my time.

Here we have another culprit, one that is similar to overdoing something to one's greater harm.  But what occurs here is not something "bad".  What occurs is the loss of the benefit of doing something better (called "opportunity cost", the cost of a failing to take advantage of another opportunity). 

To handle this, we must plan out ahead of time, seeking wise counsel to augment your thinking and developing a program to follow.   No plan = no or limited success. 

Parkinson's Law, the second factor above, was reputedly from a government study.  Basically, the conclusion was that "the time it takes to do something will expand to fill the amount of time alloted."   Or another way of saying that is that if we set broad or no limits on how much tv we watch, we'll keep on watching far past its value.  Or if someone gives us 4 hours to do a project that can be done in 2, then it is likely to take more time, under normal human inclination.  Or if we set no limits on how much we will help others....

To remedy the potential problem, we need to specify how much time for each project and do the activity that is a hallmark of what the successful do:  set boundaries (in this case time limits).     


And perhaps you ask how can I have fun if I spend time learning so much? 

Well, guess what!  "Fun" is another area of beneficial units that you decide to do, but you don't do it beyond it's real value - and you will build it into your schedule for its benefit, but don't let it go without "parental control". 

Be aware that "fun" disappears, satisfaction lasts.  We are aiming for satisfaction and an underlying base of deep happiness. 

The purpose of fun, in one aspect, is to "rejuvenate" oneself - an area of high return that people fail to do, for they think "not doing anything" is unproductive.  However, it is massively productive for keeping one's creativity and spirit in high gear and in keeping one's physical and emotional energy filled up. 

Skip rejuvenation and you'll suffer greatly.  I guarantee it!  (See Rejuvenation.)   Remember that the use of the body has diminishing marginal returns and in fact goes into negative returns if one goes too far, without rejuvenating.

A funny thing happens on one's way to living one's life.  We need more "fun" the more we fail to learn about how to run our lives.  Basically, "fun" becomes the main accessible and "believed known" way to get relief from the stresses of life (which are reduced when we run our lives well!).  And those people who learn about how to run their lives also get so much more out of fun, because their minds are released from concern about the future and life. 


Assuming you are an adult, I'd go through and list all the things in life that you are not getting enough of and all the problems in your life.   To make this easier, just list the major things and take no more than 20 minutes.  You can add to the list later, but for now, this will do.  The items you list are probably in the highest 20% of impact on your life - therefore, they are the highest priority and the areas for highest return.      

For each one you list, you would write out what can I do to learn more about this and/or get help relative to it to produce better results.   This begins to form a "goal list" and an action list from which we can pick out what we should do next with our time.   And with all goals, we need to develop a "why" - what are the benefits and why should I go for them?  Since we are likely running into problems created by incorrect (or at least lacking) knowledge, we also probably will need to "develop a whole new conversation" and the reasoning behind the conversation - basically designing implementing "healthy thinking" in the area. 

To see this in action, I have a write-up on this with an example included: (to be posted IDENTIFYING PROBLEMS AND CONCERNS - IN ORDER TO  DECLARE WHAT I WILL DO AND WHO I WILL BE) 



Strengths as weaknesses