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Figure out your 80/20

Updated: Aug 23, 2018

Another method of reflection that made a huge impact in my life over the past year is Tim Ferris's year-end review.  The end goal is to create three lists - stop, continue, start. Block out an hour and do two activities:

  • Go through your calendar. Start Jan 1 and look through all 52 weeks. 

  • Go through your contacts.  A to Z.

You want to identify the 20% of activities or people that created 80% of the positive emotions and outcomes in your life, and the 20% that created the negative.  This should be across both work and personal.  Ask yourself:

  • If I could only do 2 hours of personal or work things a week? What would those be?

  • What was a waste of time? 

  • What sparked joy?

  • What stressed me out?

  • What didn't play to my strengths? 

  • Who inspires and brings out the best in me? 

  • Who brings out the worst in me?

Notice patterns and build out your lists.  Here is a sampling of mine:


  • Going to kid birthday parties of people we aren't close to

  • Numbing bad feelings instead of processing

  • Buying too much food at Costco! 

  • Only listening to audio books - buy actual books! 


  • Entertaining (both bigger parties and small play dates)

  • Keeping with routines (morning, night)

  • Adventures with the kids (especially 1:1)

  • Building my network (especially with the Summit and DC startup communities)


  • Build in more downtime, both in work and life

  • Treating the root cause vs. the symptoms 

  • Hire a personal assistant to help out 5 hrs/week

  • Studying stoicism

Trust me, this will pay off in dividends.  


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