Jeff Corrigan: welcome to habit masters. I'm Jeff. I'm Sheldon. And Sheldon is back. All right. I know you guys missed him as much as I did. Maybe not as much as I did, but pretty close. And today we are going to do part three of our three part series. Calling it the life flips series where we're helping you shift your mindset from survival to freedom .
And the first two weeks, if you haven't listened to those, go back and listen to them. They're pretty awesome. We talked about approach versus avoid mentality, creating versus reacting. So rather than letting your circumstances control your, Decisions and your future in your life is starting to create the circumstances that you want by your actions that you're taking because Your future is created by what you do today And the third installment which I I think it kind of puts them all together and gives you a better way to actually implement this It's like how do I approach?
How do I create my life? Well, it comes down to this rule sheldon. Do you want to give them the breakdown of the 80 20 rule?
Sheldon Mills: Sure. Sure. The 80 20 rule and the here's the idea behind it that we spend 80% of our time and what we would call defense. It's like the busy work. It's like the stuff that you know, it's necessary.
At least we think it is most of the time, but it doesn't really move the needle, right? The 20% is the things that make a difference. It's the creative thing. We're actually going to ship, right? It's the It's the stuff that actually makes a difference and makes an impact and changes the world.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah. And if you guys have listened to our past episodes, we talk about offense versus defense, where defense are the things that we feel like kind of the busy work of life, the to do list, where offense are the things that are actually moving the needle and creating progress in your life or in your business or in your relationships.
So this is what the 20% is. It's creating progress in your life. It's creating progress in your relationships, it's creating progress in your business. And unfortunately, we're spending way too much of our time on the 80%. On this stuff that May or may not need to be done at all. And if it does need to be done, may or may not need to be done by us.
Like where possible delegate and outsource. . And where possible eliminate.
Sheldon Mills: Eliminate. Right. Well, I was talking to Jeff and I work for my day job. I'm a product marketing manager. The company called open text. It is a behemoth of a company, right? I don't know how many tens of thousands of employees and it is big, right?
And I don't know the exact ratio. I would suspect that I spend more than 50% of my day, not actually working, like creating. The product writing copy, like creating, it is working through processes. It's getting approvals. It's in meetings to discuss the red tape. Like literally that is at least half of my job.
It's not creating. It's not building something that I'm going to share. It's like the process. Preparing to get permission to be able to do that. Right.
Jeff Corrigan: And I'm sure there's a lot of you who work with big companies and you know what that's like trying to get anything worthwhile done, there's all this red tape and there's these, this bureaucracy of hierarchy that you have to go through.
And there's all these bottlenecks of. Oh, you got to talk to this person first, and this person has to give budget approval, and I've, I, that's what I've dealt with so much when I worked for a bigger company and it just gets to be tedious. Most of your work is not actually creative, impactful work.
It's just trying to get to be able to do the work or it's doing the answering the millions of emails or, and it doesn't always, maybe it's not even that productive. A lot of our 80% could be stuff like answering emails and busy work stuff, distractions, things like that. That can be, that all falls into the 80%.
Sheldon Mills: I do say that's one example of what we think of the 80, 20% rule. I think there's other ways of thinking about it. Do you want to share the Elon Musk story in first principles? Cause I think that's another way of stepping back and discerning. Okay. What is the 80% that isn't really even necessary?
You can share it. You want me to share that? Okay. Do it, man. So Elon Musk is pretty. Famous for what he calls, first principles thinking. And the idea was this talking about, like SpaceX, okay. Recognize that was it take to build a rocket?
It takes a high grade aluminum, some titanium, carbon fiber, the raw materials and calculations in the marketplace and realized that the raw materials to actually make a rocket is 2% of the final cost of the rocket, ? You could think of
Jeff Corrigan: 98% was paying Boeing or whoever was building rockets at the time.
Sheldon Mills: So if you step back and it's like, okay, so I could start this company to try and take people to space, but literally 98% of it. Is. It's, there is the cost of engineers and manufacturing and all of that. But at the end of the day, the, a huge percentage of it goes to, the legal and the contracts and the, this and like the middle management and this and the thousands of things of trying to work with Boeing to build it to my specs and everything.
And if the first principles was like no. What are the. The fundamentals of what we need to make this happen. Well, we need the raw materials. We can buy raw materials. We need to manufacture it. We can manufacture it ourselves. And all of a sudden, creates a company that for a fraction of, what NASA can contract and with Boeing, you know what I mean?
That's how he can make this. That's how he can create a company out of scratch that is competitive with the other space organizations have been around forever, right?
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah. And so to that example, that's like focusing on the 20%, right? It's like, okay, how do I actually bring value?
And how do I actually get this started? Like, what is it going to take, right? To publish your first book, for example, let's take a writer, for example, we use that example a lot, but it's kind of an easy one. I think a lot of people have that ambition in their life to publish a book.
And so, I know we do, so maybe that's just us but what does it actually take? Well, you don't actually need a publisher anymore, right? It's like, you don't actually need a lot of things, like just the cost of the book. And the printing materials and getting that done if you can't print your own books, which I'm sure is challenging and Then publishing it on Amazon Like if you really wanted to just I just want to publish a book or publishing on your own website in a digital version Maybe you don't even need to print a book right?
So What we liked about the example of the red tape is that the 80% really is kind of these obstacles that we create for ourselves that get in the way of us delivering on our goals or our dreams. Like, it's little obstacles we put in the way of actually accomplishing something that we want because it gives us an excuse not to do it.
And really makes it seem more difficult than it is. And the truth of it is, if you're going to be an author, your first book's probably not going to be the top seller. You're not going to be an immediate famous author. So, starting wherever you're at is the goal, right? And dedicating and committing to that 20% to being like, alright, if I want to be an author, what does that actually look like?
Well, it looks like me publishing a book. That's it. All right? It's like, all right. Or it just looks like me starting with a blog. It really comes down to instead of saying, Oh, there's only one path to get there. And it's just a well worn path that requires all this red tape and all these approvals because that's what, the author world can look like that.
If you want to publish a traditionally published book, like, well, I got to submit my book proposal and I have to go through all these publishers and I'm probably going to get declined 20 50 times before I actually, get it to the point where someone will accept it and publish it for me and that looks really challenging, probably impossible, but if you start where you're at and what you can accomplish.
Be at that 20% like Elon like, okay, well we can buy the raw materials. Oh wait, we can actually manufacture. Right. And he had a lot more resources than you do or me probably. Well, I won't say probably it's a guarantee, right? Unless if you're listening to this and you're Elon Musk, give us a call. But that.
The cool thing about that though is the 20% also, I like to point this out, is what's fueling the rest of your life. So if you look at it from the business perspective that Sheldon was just talking about, the 20% of actual creative producing work that the people are doing within that company is what's running the company.
It's what's fueling everything else. It's what's making everything else possible. And that's the same with your life. The 20% that energizes you, that's your unique ability, that gives you purpose and significance in your life, is what's making everything else possible. So what if you just took a tiny percent more?
You went to 30%, you went to 40%, 50% of your working time doing that thing. How much more effective and energized and value would you be bringing? It's like, it's pretty crazy that the small amount can fuel everything else.
Sheldon Mills: Let's tie this back into day one of approach versus avoid,
okay. Our motivation for anything. Jeff and I were talking about like, everybody has goals. There's no one alive who doesn't have goals, right? But the reasoning for the goal for a lot of people, for a lot of things, well, for all of us, to a certain extent, is to avoid pain, to avoid the situation, the 20% is always approaching something bigger and better,
You are approaching a brighter future. Your 20% is moving you toward approaching this brighter, better future that you can envision.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah, to put it into a word, where the 80% is survival, the 20% is the freedom part of life. It's like the significance part of life, where you feel like you're adding value and contributing at a high level.
Sheldon Mills: And again, going back to our metaphors, it's like a garden. Like you always have to weed. Yes, you do have to play defense, right? But if all you do is play defense, you'll never score a point. So I, our proposition is that every single person who listens to this, we're not trying to say you shouldn't play defense and you can't, you don't, you know what I mean?
Cause you have to, that's part of life. All of us could spend more time trying to approach , the dreams, the goals, the 20% and spend a little less on the avoid. Your day is going to be filled the next 24 hours. It's going to be filled with something, just fill it with a little more things that approach the 20%.
With things that move the needle, the things that are fulfilling your dreams or taking you toward them.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah. And to quote what Sheldon has said on this show before is you always have time for the things you put first.
So why aren't we putting the things first that are energizing us and moving us in the direction of our goals? Yeah. Well, a lot of it is because we're focused too much on survival. In essence the purpose of life flip is, if you start to focus more on approach, you start to focus more on creating, you start to focus more on the 20%, which is the approach in creating, is survival takes care of itself.
And you create freedom, not just for yourself, but for your family. You create freedom for those in your community, and potentially even impact the world. Like, taking Elon Musk as an example, up until Tesla came along, nobody was willing to go the distance. And push it past, like they were all paid off at some point.
Now this is maybe conspiracy theory, but we're going to throw it in here anyways, because most people believe this to, and to some extent it is true. That a lot of people had ideas for electric cars long ago, but no one fully executed it for whatever reason. No one followed it through to the finish and Elon Musk, even in the face of financial ruin, that the company was not going to.
succeed, he pushed through and look what's come of it, right? It didn't just change the auto industry. It's changing the world as we know it in the types of fuels and energy sources that we're using. So pretty amazing in that sense, when you can push through on your 20% and the impact it can potentially have, but just like him, it's going to take commitment to a road that's less worn,
that's less known that might seem more risky at times because the 80% is not risky But the rewards are very minimal, right? We've proven that time and time again, that they only lead to the status quo. That's exactly where the 80% leads. It keeps you in the crowd. So if you want to be the exception, if you want to live a life of freedom, of greater significance, the 20% is where you need to be.
Sheldon Mills: I think it's worth at this point, maybe we kind of bullet pointed this list of like, how do I identify if something is in the 80% bucket or the 20% bucket? Yeah, that's great. I say we just go through some of these, Jeff. And yeah, let's do it.
Jeff Corrigan: Okay. How do we identify
Sheldon Mills: this? The 80% is the red tape of life, right? It's the bloat of approvals and processes. It's the unnecessary checklist in order to actually get something done, like practically speaking, it's the things we tell ourself we need to do before we can exercise for our health.
Right. Or before I can start saving and investing. Do you know what I mean? Like, it's like this checklist of things like the project we want done, but we say, oh, I have to do all these things before I can actually do it. Right.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah. And a good example that I hear pretty often from people who want to start businesses is, they'll be like, well, I don't know how to trademark my name or how to get my logo done or what, any one of an infinite excuses as to why they. Can't start their business yet, right? We just build our own obstacles. and say, well, but I need to be trademarked cause I don't want anybody stealing my idea or
I want a patent on this before I release it. That type of things can really just be a burden in the process.
Sheldon Mills: Sometimes I talk with people and they're like, Oh, I have this great idea, but I can't tell anybody about it. And there's a part of me that's like, nobody's going to do anything. But it's like, I, this is not the problem.
It's the actually doing it, the execution, like the grit and the persistence to actually do something with it. You could evangelize this to the whole world and it's a great idea. It's going to happen anyway, you just got to make sure you're first to do it. Do you know what I mean?
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah, be first out of the gate.
The most effective way to ensure that your idea doesn't get stolen is to be first out the gate. That's 80% though. Yeah. Out of the gate.
Sheldon Mills: Yeah. 80%. So 80% is the defense.
. It's the list of reasons we create for not actually shipping it. It's the status quo. It's the rut that we're used to doing day in and day out. Right. I think there's a lot of us. It's like, no, this is the habits. It's the We all have to from time to time have to examine, like, I sit on the toilet and check my phone.
The news is like, is that really moving me anywhere? Right. But it's what I'm used to. It's the rut. It's the, it's the habit.
Jeff Corrigan: Well, have you ever known someone who stayed in a bad relationship or, even an abusive relationship, right?
And they keep going back and there's a lot of psychological of this, but it goes with us too, where it's like, we are more comfortable with what's familiar, even if what's familiar is hurting us. Go back to an episode we've done in the past are you still sitting on that nail?
Does the nail not hurt bad enough yet for you to change? So it really comes down to, are you willing to give up familiar for something better? Or even for the idea of something better, because there's no promise. At the end of that road, the only promise is that it's something different and it will hopefully provide you something in the end is much more valuable than what you have now.
Or even just the lesson is like, you know what I'm saying? Sorry, I'm not selling this well right now, but okay. So let's talk about 20% stuff though, so 20% things, these are the high leverage activities. This is playing offense in your life. This is working from your unique ability.
And bringing greater value many times with the same effort. Or, if you are putting in more effort, it's more energizing, fulfilling, and significant to you. It's a passion. Something that you actually want to be doing. Something that even if you weren't paid to do it, you would be doing. Like Sheldon and I on this podcast, right?
We love doing this, not because we're paid, but because we want to share an idea and a message that's impacted our lives. And it is, in fact, the thing you actually create, instead of the list of things you have to do to prepare to create. That's kind of a funny way of saying it, but it's doing the thing you actually...
Decided to do and shipping it. That's the 20% putting it out there into the world to add value, whether that is for money or just because you want to, right? It's a significant labor that is interesting to you. That brings value to those. Around you and hopefully yourself.
Sheldon Mills: Yeah. The 20% if you can do this thing and it'll actually change things like you'll achieve something.
It'll move the needle. Like that's the 20%. .
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah. Well, so there's a couple of things you might be thinking. . You might be thinking. Well, I don't know what the 20% is. Well, hopefully that list just gave you some ideas on what it might be.
Whatever energizes you. Whatever is something that you would study and research and do on your own without somebody paying you to do it is probably a good indicator of what a 20% for you might be. Some people call it unique ability. Some people call it talents or gifts or, things that interest you, passions, hobbies could potentially be your 20%.
And then I think we have a couple of things that we tell ourselves that aren't true. One is that being busy is good. It's like, just being busy doing something is good. I think that if you were less busy and focused more on 20% and more intentional in that time, you would not only get better results, but your life would be Significantly better to
Sheldon Mills: we've talked about this.
We've even written stuff about this about effective versus efficient. Right? That's the quote. We love so much by Peter Drucker. There's nothing so useless as doing something efficiently. That shouldn't be done at all.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah, exactly. Well, and that fits into the 80% category, right? Yeah. Doing things really efficiently.
That shouldn't be done at all. Like all the red tape we've been talking about, right? Stuff like that.
Sheldon Mills: Half of your cell phone falls into that category. It's like more efficiently doing something that, why are you spending your time there anyway?
Jeff Corrigan: Right, I can be marketed to for hours now on Instagram. I don't even have to drive down the street and look at billboards, they're on my phone. Another false belief that I think is that the 80% is essential. And this fits really well into the red tape category. We think that the processes and the things that we've set up are essential to making things happen.
And in fact, I think more often than not, we should review what those processes are. And eliminate anything that's keeping us from getting things done.
Sheldon Mills: Because essentially right now, the, it's the 80 20 rule. 20% of the stuff you're doing is actually getting you 80% of your results.
Jeff Corrigan: So, absolutely.
Sheldon Mills: Those are the things you want to identify.
That 80% that it's like, it's just not taking you where you really want to go. So that's like, it's not that essential.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah, when you can go through the activities of your day and say to yourself, especially from a work. standpoint. I think you can go through your work life and say, okay, what are the things that are actually moving the needle either for me in my job or me in my business and decide right here and now, okay, I need to do more of that thing.
And if you want a great book to reference that and give you ideas on how to execute that in your life, it's called the compound effect by Darren Hardy. He talks all about this, about spending time on the things that actually move the needle. Spending times in offensive, creative work.
Sheldon Mills: It's the important stuff, as Stevie Covey's, the not urgent but important, yeah.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah, the not urgent, but important. If you want to go back to that's a really great example. The four quadrants. So action step for today, Sheldon, what do you got?
Sheldon Mills: The action step is this, take a moment, I mean, ideally you're journaling and can write this down and concretely identify, but the bare minimum identify, what the 20% is and then make a plan to go do more of it.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah, and I hired a coach a while ago.
His name is Richie Norton. And one of the things that he teaches that could help in this, I think because I love this idea, Sheldon, is to identify what some of those 20% things are, is take a paper, split down the middle. Make a list of everything that you know you do in your life and then move anything to the right side that you actually want to be doing, right?
Things that are energizing you and that even if they're hard are something that you like and are interested in doing and put them on the right side. And that should give you at least a start on what some of the 20% is.
Sheldon Mills: Thank you for joining us today.
I am glad to be back with you, Jeff. I know just been going solo for a couple of weeks now. , if you like this, please share it's the best way to get creative things out there. And if you have an idea, you want us to explore an author or somebody you want us to interview, please let us know. I bet we could get him.
We're pretty persuasive if we just have a goal, an objective, someone to get on. So please, let us know.
Jeff Corrigan: Yeah, you guys are awesome. It's time to start living your best life.