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Lifestyle Audit & Applying the 80/20 Rule

I recently wrote about taking a new direction with this site. That idea was not birthed from out of the blue.

I've had a pretty chaotic last several years, and 2019 seems to be no exception. Some of the bigger events that have taken place this year are and not at all limited to:

  • Taking a new role as the Director of Client Relations at Smash Digital
  • Getting to experience what it's like to go through a (fairly amicable) divorce
  • Living with a bit more freedom than I'm used to due to said divorce
  • Losing around forty pounds thanks to jiu-jitsu and dietary changes

I don't think I am exaggerating when I say all of those factors have dramatically changed both my general lifestyle and my outlook on life as a whole.

With so many major changes happening over a relatively short period of time, I figure it's the perfect time to self reflect and do a bit of a self-audit. 

Establishing a Baseline

I don't think it's possible to really form a plan for moving ahead unless I know where I currently am at. That goes for pretty much all areas of my life: health, financial, professional, etc. 

And in order to get a feel for all of that, I think it's extremely important to get organized. Again, that doesn't just mean get organized in one area. That means make sure my finances are in order. Get a handle on all my projects, both personal and professional. 

While that might appear to be overwhelming at first if you are looking at every single area of your life, I think taking an 80/20 approach as the title of this post states will really help speed things along. Otherwise it will be all too easy to get caught up in minutiae.

I have already taken a step back and gotten a feel for where I am at, and this is my general plan for moving ahead. 

Clean & Organize My Surroundings

When I was in elementary school, one of the most popular faculty members was our librarian. She was extremely personable and always willing to lend a helping hand whether it was assisting you in finding a book or teaching you what a word meant. 

Aside from that, one of the clearest memories I have of her was her desk. It was always a catastrophe.

I commented to her one day about how much of a mess her desk always was. She replied, and I paraphrase, "The day you see me with a clean desk is the day I don't have any work to do."

In the past I have taken that philosophy to heart and never totally worried about my surroundings. But, when you have one half of a couple move out, you end up with a very messy and disorganized home. 

I figure before I can get anything else under control, I first need to get my general environment tidied up. 

The 80/20 here is to efficiently go through each room and purge unused items as well as declutter as much as possible while using broad strokes. I am not going to fret over small trinkets I don't know what to do with quite yet.

Tie Up Loose Ends

A big problem I see with those in the digital marketing space is that they tend to have a zillion projects going on at the same time. I am no different. 

I absolutely have bouts of shiny object syndrome. In fact, I think I should join a SOS Anonymous group. 

As much as I think getting my physical surroundings in order will help me stop treading water and start moving forward, I feel tidying up all my loose ends will be 10x more impactful. 

Here are just a couple ways I plan on doing that:

  • Clean up all my hosting and domain registrar accounts
  • Migrate incomplete and abandoned niche sites to a single all inclusive site
  • Remove everything else that is not earning revenue from my life permanently

I am not going to let myself get bogged down by trying to be perfect with this purge, but I am going to do my best to 80/20 this as well and really focus on gutting the 80% that's doing nothing but waste time and soak up resources. 

Set Realistic Goals

It's quite impossible to get to a specific destination without first determining where it is you want to go. That's true for much more than just physical travel. 

Once I have steps one and two (organizing my surroundings and tying up loose ends), it will be time to revisit both short and longer term goals. The reason why I like to focus on both short and long term goals is that it helps you form a bit of a roadmap. 

Basically, the a long term goal is the destination while the short term goals are the map on how to get there. Having a series of short term goals established also makes the idea of reaching your long term goal for finance, fitness or whatever seem much more possible. 

It's great to aim high, but it's also easy to bite off more than you can chew. That can quickly lead to discouragement. 

For example, while it would be amazing to eventually earn a jiu-jitsu black belt, that can take a decade or longer of dedication and heard work. There's a lot of room to getting lost along the way when looking so far out. 

But, if I set a series of short goals such as earning a blue belt over the next 12 months, it's much easier to stay the course. 

To 80/20 this I am planning on  putting energy into mapping out only high level goals for now, such as finance and overall lifestyle goals. I will also make sure to not get too granular with the short term goal setting.

Conclusion

It's hard to move forward with a giant anchor weighing you down. Getting my general living environment in order as well as cutting loose all the small annoyances should help narrow my focus. And, once that is all set it's important to have some sort of blueprint to follow. 

I am also going to really focus on making sure I don't get bogged down in the small and mostly inconsequential stuff and instead use my resources intelligently. 

Wish me luck!