The 10% Rule of Time Management

Recently I was completing the last minute touches on a power point slide presentation for time management training I was delivering the next morning.  Just as I was saving the presentation onto a memory stick the computer screen and the cursor froze!  In utter disbelief I did everything I knew possible to unfreeze the screen without losing my document.  After several attempts to reboot the computer, I was not able to transfer or save the presentation.  In desperation, I decided to review the 7 point font computer instruction booklet – hoping to find an answer about how to fix the problem.  After all it was a brand new laptop, only a week old.  Maybe I overlooked something.  This was a useless exercise.

Frustrated, I took a deep breath and calmed myself.  It was 11:00 p.m. and I had an early rise the next day.  What was I to do?  Then I remembered the 10% rule of time management that I was going to discuss the next day in the seminar.

The 10% rule of time management simply means that a person can do almost anything in an average way in 10% of the time it takes to do things in an excellent way.  I decided to apply this principle to my problem.  I recreated the power point slide presentation in about 40 minutes.  This was about 10% of the time it took me to create the original presentation.  Fortunately, my lecture notes and handouts were already printed and copied.  I was able to get a good night’s rest.  The seminar was well received the next day.  I shared my own example to illustrate the 10% rule.  I was the only one who knew that the slides I used were not the original presentation.

Do you always want to perform at 100%? Absolutely! Are you always able to perform at 100%? Absolutely not!  Remember the 10% rule of time management when you need to meet a deadline.  It’s far better than throwing in the towel.

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