Human progress is built on the principle of doing more with less.
In the beginning of time, humanity spent the bulk of their days hunting for food.
Then someone discovered that they could eat plants.
People started farms and were able to spend less time pursuing food to eat.
Then people created machines to do much of the manual labor that farmers had been doing for centuries.
Advances in farming continued with irrigation, fertilization, and even using satellite technology.
People used to travel only by foot.
Then they domesticated animals and used the animals for transportation.
Then people put motors in their wagons and ditched the animals.
Then in 1903, Orville & Wilbur Wright proved that man could fly powered by a motor with their 12-second flight of 112 feet.
A modern Boeing 737 has a bigger wingspan at 117 feet than Orville’s first flight.
The first flight was short, but it proved a point.
Everything starts small before it becomes grand.
Advances in human-powered flight progressed at such a rapid pace that in less than 66 years, Neal Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked around on the lunar surface.
Throughout our history, humanity has continually progressed by doing more with less.
Think about how much effort is needed to prepare a meal today.
Yesterday I was running short of time, so I went to a fast-food restaurant and received my meal in two minutes.
Just think how much time it would have taken to get a meal prepared 200 years ago.
The key to progress in our lives to master the skill of doing more with less.
A year ago, I started a new sales process.
The first step was to define the specific actions I would take each time I got a lead.
At that time, I had seven different actions I would take with each new lead.
With my defined specific actions in place, I started my sales process.
At first, I stumbled along my process.
I realized that the process I had established was too clumsy to execute.
Additionally, I wasn’t keeping track of my activities with each new lead.
Consequently, I didn’t complete all the sales activities with my leads.
I’m sure I left a lot of money on the table because I didn’t do the work to educate and sell the lead on why working with me would help their businesses become more profitable.
I then started using sales software to track my leads and help me keep track of the work I needed to perform to take my leads through the sales process.
When I first started using the sales software, I found I was spending about ten minutes to set up each lead.
Then I started using the automation feature of the sales software, and I was able to reduce my setup time for each new lead to one minute.
By using the automation of the sales software, I was able to gain back 9 minutes for each new lead.
I was able to do more with less effort and time.
Doing more with less is the key to our progression.
Instead of thinking addition, we should be thinking multiplication.
Instead of thinking about doing more things, we should be thinking about doing fewer things.
About 100 years ago, Vilfredo Pareto conducted a study where he learned that in 20% of the Italian population owned 80% of Italy’s land.
This one concept became known as the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule.
The 80/20 rule states that, in general 20% creates 80%.
The 80/20 rule is perhaps one of the most important concepts to understand in mastering the skill of doing more with less.
Here is how we can see the 80/20 rule play out in business.
20% of our work will produce 80% of our revenue.
I’ve seen this play out many times where the most valuable use of my time is spent in sales in marketing.
Sales and marketing are the first steps in business.
Without sales and marketing, my business cannot gain customers.
Without customers, my business will not earn money.
While I logically recognize that sales and marketing are the most valuable use of my time, much of my career was time was not spent in performing sales and marketing activities.
I allowed myself to get caught up in doing things that were not as important for my business.
The decision to perform nonrevenue generating activities wasn’t logical.
The decision was based on me having a skewed view of my priorities.
I allowed myself to let the unimportant become important.
It doesn’t make logical sense, but my actions showed what my true priorities were.
To combat the unimportant from creeping into my life, I have had to say no to the unimportant.
By saying no to the unimportant, I free up time for the important.
Why am I letting myself do unimportant things?
Because I’m human and I live a human life.
My calendar is my best tool to focus my efforts and time on doing the important things.
I schedule time each day to spend time doing my most important activities.
The first activity I perform each day is writing.
When I started writing earlier this year, I didn’t have a specific time each day allocated to writing.
Many times, earlier this year, I would lie down for bed and realize I hadn’t done my writing.
Then I the first hour and a half in my day as writing time.
Now I’ve established the habit of writing first thing each day.
By establishing time each day for my most important activities, I’m allocating time for my most important activities.
This then reduces the available time I have for the rest of the activities in my day.
With less time available, I have a scarcity of time and it becomes even more critical that I spend the remaining time on the next most important activities.
When I have a day where I accomplish one important thing, I am much more productive than a day where I accomplish ten unimportant things.
The key to accomplishing more is to do less.