My 4 Hour Work Week Journey: Pareto’s and Parkinson’s Laws

This is day 8 of My 4 Hour Work Week Journey. Please make sure you read the rest of the articles that came before this one to understand where I am in the journey. Click here to buy a copy of the 4 hour work week and go on the journey with me.

Send Some More Love

To him whom much is given, much shall be required. The folks at Hot Kenyan Goods, who can be found at did me the great honour of promoting the interview that I did with Stella Mwangi aka STL.

I just thought I would take this time out to thank them and encourage everyone to check out their videos and let them know what you think of them.

Questions and Actions:Pareto’s and Parkinson’s Laws

As I continue to go through all the question and actions section of the book (and ignore the comfort sections), my hope is that by now you have your own copy of the book so that you can follow along.

You don’t neccesarily have to buy the book, but please make sure you are reading at least a free copy of it because it gives you a lot of the psychology, research and ideas that underly a lot of these exercises, which may seem ridiculous out of context.

Should you have any questions about just what on Earth is going on, please leave a comment or send me an email at masmilele (at) thedisplacedafrican (dot) com – I love that format of writing out email addresses :D .

The questions are:

1) If I had a heart attack and had to work only two hours a day what would I do?

  • Spend one day writing many articles and spend the other days editing those articles, putting pictures and posting them up.
  • Sending press releases and gauging the response.
  • The 4 hour work week journey.
  • Read maybe 1 or 2 blogs of people who I have great relationships with: Doesn’t help productivity though.
  • Market the blog.
  • Check on jobs being done by VAs to ensure they are being done effectively.
  • Implementing and testing blog monetization techniques

2) If I had to work 2 hours per week what would I do?

  • Make sure I have outsourced writing of the blog to good writers.
  • Focus solely on promotion and getting the word out there.
  • Podcast interviews if I enjoy them or ensuring I have outsourced to the right person.
  • Establishing and tweaking systems for testing blog monetization.

3) If I had a gun to my head and had to quit 4/5 of the time consuming activities what would I cut out?

  • Reading blogs
  • Watching and downloading so many videos.
  • Looking for personal development materials online.
  • Run less.
  • Watch TV and movies during the night less.
  • Not checking email so much.
  • Not chating when it’s time to work
  • Not multi tasking
  • Not putting too many things in my to do list.
  • Not trying to get work done when others around.
  • Deleting all Facebook funwall notifications received.
  • Consolidating my Facebook profiles to avoid going back and forth between them.

4) Top 3 activities I use to fill my time and feel as though I have been important or productive

  • Chating on Google talk
  • Watching personal development videos
  • Answering email
  • Rearranging and thinking about and reflecting on the blog instead of taking action

5) Put two high impact items on your to do list daily: This one has a couple of steps:

Plan the next day the evening before.

On your to do list, put at most two high impact (80% result) activities. If you have a hard time deciding from the minutae, simply ask the question:

If I finished one thing today that would make the most difference and bring me the most joy, what would that be?

Answer that and lock it in the list. To check out how I implement this, check out this video:

6) Put a constant reminder on Outlook or your computer asking either:

Am I being busy or productive?


Am I inventing things to avoid doing the important?

7) DO NOT MULTITASK: Single task to produce the most efficiency and impact out of every high impact activity ( think of the compound effect of focusing all your power and energy on a single, high impact task within time constraints).

8) Use Parkinson’s Law: Create false time constraints so as to increase your output. Parkinson’s law basically proposes that the complexity of an activity will increase to fill in whatever time we alot it.

Create a time constraint that results in you dedicating the minimum time neccesary to produce the maximum result.

Any questions or comments and that’s what the comments thread below is for.

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Be blessed and bless others,


No Comments

  • By Gal africana, July 20, 2008 @ 10:19 pm

    Uh…are you following through with all the tasks? must be a plateful?

  • By Mwangi, July 21, 2008 @ 3:25 am

    @gal africana: Yup, each and every one. So far, it’s much easier than I expected. Just a couple of hours a day. I think it would be much harder if I wasn’t already comfortable going on this journey and had to do the comfort exercises as well.

Other Links to this Post

  1. My 4 Hour Work Week Journey: Low Information Diet » The Displaced African — July 22, 2008 @ 1:43 am

  2. There’s a Blog in my Soup »  Poll for Bloggers:How many of you face time management issues & how do you personally manage to overcome these issues? — July 26, 2008 @ 3:34 am

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