It’s been raining a lot around our way recently – I mean a lot. Don’t get me wrong - I’m not complaining as we do need the precipitation after the warmest Australian Spring on record (2013) and a hot, dry and above average temperature Summer. This isn’t just my imagination either as you’ll see on the rainfall deficiency graph on the Bureau of Meteorology website.
I just find it interesting that the rain hasn’t come in gentle soaking showers. Instead we seem to end up having steamy days with ultra-high humidity which end in a biblical-like deluge for an hour or two which causes flash flooding, traffic chaos and general disruption. I’m talking 40-80mm of rain in an hour or so! Hang on – I think I’m describing Queensland weather…
My friend has told me that I’m a weather nerd – hmmm, maybe she’s right :)
It’s almost like the heavens have said “Let’s focus on this spot, right here, right now, and we’ll get a lot done in a short time.”
Isn’t that a great word? (i.e. focus) And doesn’t it have some great lessons for us as well?
Named after the Italian civil engineer and economist Vilfredo Pareto, The Pareto Distribution – more commonly known as the Pareto Principle - is a probability distribution used in the description of social, scientific, geophysical, actuarial, and many other types of observable phenomena. For example, in business 80% of the output comes from 20% of the input, 20% of the staff do 80% of the work, 20% of the sales will yield 80% of the profit, and so on. So the lesson is to focus on the 20%!
The Ancient Chinese Philosophy of Wu Xing teaches us a great deal about energy management, ease and effectiveness by simply focussing activities of similar energy together. (Blaze, Earth, Steel, Water and Wood energies correspond to people, organising, clearing, source and creative activities)
And when we group or batch work of a similar nature together, this focus allows you to build momentum and “get in the groove”, the “zone” or “flow”. For example, in a manufacturing environment it can help minimise changeovers. Or if you are preparing invoices, doing them all at the same time is an efficient way to go.
I also love that the word FOCUS is an acronym for Follow One Course Until Successful!
The principle of focus is from where my concept for Fire Hose Sessions came.
Have you ever seen a fire hose that is spraying water all over the place because it isn’t being held everything gets a bit wet but not much is achieved?
However when the fire hose is directed at one point the concentrated spray soaks the object of attention very quickly.
Well that’s what you should be doing in your business - having Fire Hose Sessions to hold the hose and concentrate attention on your burning issue of the moment. That's how you can make a very real difference in an incredibly short period of time.