The Pareto principle posits that the top 20 per cent of your daily tasks will drive 80 per cent of your results. Therefore, you must decide which of your tasks comprise your top 20 per cent and focus your best attention on them during your day.
This principle of time management implies that 80 per cent of our success comes from 20 per cent of our activities. This means that 80 per cent of our activities only produces 20 per cent of our success. It clearly reveals that a lot of unproductive activities are robbing us of the time that should be spent on important priorities.
Our life can be likened to a garden with beautiful flowers on which we allow weeds and thistles to grow and choke. A good gardener must not allow the weeds to grow. Weeds must be uprooted to preserve the flowers. From my little experience with farm work , when I was young, weeds are tough to deal with and they grow and multiply even faster than the crops. Therefore, you have to ruthlessly deal with them by uprooting them, for the flowers to survive and flourish.
Do you know that some gardens can be overgrown with weeds? Urgent, unproductive and useless activities can overwhelm our lives. Hence, insignificant activities that take up our time but contribute nothing to our success must be weeded and thrown away. We must focus on the significant activities and do away with the insignificant ones. We must know what contributes to our success and what does not contribute.
Proverbs 24:30 says, “I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of a man void of understanding; and lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and thistles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.”
Someone who is slothful, indolent or lazy cannot work on his life and identify the activities that are retarding his progress. He cannot make important decisions affecting his life. He does not monitor his progress. Such people become poor because of laziness.
Some people are too lazy to think and plan their future. Some abandon their lives in the hands of others. Some people erroneously think that their parents, teachers, counsellors or pastors know what God has planned for them. Instead of praying to God and asking for revelation and guidance, they depend on other human beings. They put their trust on man and their hearts depart from the Lord.
A good plan for your life identifies your important activities and your priorities. You must identify those 20 per cent of your activities that contribute 80 per cent of your success. There is no one who can succeed in any endeavour without application of this principle. Failure to apply it results in unsuccessful living.
In order to think properly and make the best use of our time, we must get rid of negative thoughts that prevent us from moving forward. Thinking negatively is like looking at the rear mirror of your car while driving. You can’t move forward while you are looking backward.
Certain thoughts clog our minds and retard our progress in life. Ephesians 4:31(NKJV) says, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you, with malice.” These thoughts fill some minds and constitute part of the 80 per cent of the unproductive activities that retard progress.
These thoughts constitute excess baggage which slows us down and prevents making progress. As long as you are planning evil for someone, you do not have peace of mind. If you harbour bitterness against someone, the burden is on you and not on the person you have bitterness against. Therefore, you are the person suffering.
These negative thoughts are like garbage. You cannot store garbage in your house and be comfortable. The garbage can bring you discomfort and may affect your health on the long run. Wisdom demands that you clear the garbage for your own good. If you accumulate garbage in your heart, you will surely manifest garbage outside. The mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flow springs of life.”
God wants us to accumulate His Word in our hearts in order to live successfully. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom…” When you are properly guided by the Word of God in your thoughts, words and deeds, the result of whatever you do will be acceptable to Him.