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John Reiling, PMP: Are you using what you’re learning?

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JROne of the best ways to learn something is to put it to work right away. Hopefully you are having the opportunity to do that on your work projects…

But here’s another quick exercise for you that just just that…with the Pareto Principle (that’s the 80:20 rule)?

Here’s a quick exercise…

Look at your current situation…and do a quick Pareto Principle list.

Here’s my quick list – the first 10 things that came to mind:

  • 20% of my time produces 80% of my high-quality output.
  • 20% of my sleep produces 80% of my rest.
  • 20% of my team produces 80% of the output.
  • 20% of my stakeholders require 80% of the attention.
  • 20% of the requirements take 80% of the effort.
  • 20% of my thinking time produces 80% of the thoughts.
  • 20% of my family time creates 80% of our family togetherness.
  • 20% of my tasks should definitely be done by me, and I question the other 80%.
  • 20% of the problems will take 80% of the effort.
  • 20% of my time will produce the 80% solution.

Now the big question is: “How can I leverage this for some kind of gain?”

I have been thinking about this a good bit lately…and trying to see my day to day expenditure of time and energy through this lens. Try doing the same for your studying, if you are preparing for the PMP exam. For example:

  • 20% of my study time produces 80% of the learning I am doing.
  • 20% of the exam simulation questions produce 80% of the learning for me.
  • 20% of the material accounts for 80% of what I need to work on.
  • 20% of my study time is highly productive and the other 80% is so-so.

…and so on. Keep trying to drill down deeper…until you begin to feel like you understand where and how your should be spending your time.

It takes a lot of discipline! Simple thing…but not easy!

Practice what you’re learning…and you’ll “own” it!


John Reiling, PMP

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