The Rule of 20s

By Paul Lewis an EO New Jersey member and president and CEO  of PG Lewis and Associates.

Time— that precious commodity that we can never get back. Unfortunately, we all waste time one way or another. As entrepreneurs, we can waste time by springing into action too quickly … for fear of wasting time. Confused? Let me give you an example.

This morning I was running late for a meeting. I grabbed my keys, a bottle of water and ran to my car. As I was racing to see my client, my GPS informed me that I was scheduled to arrive one minute early. Cool, I can relax. But just then a panic came over me, and I clenched the steering wheel. I FORGOT THE FOLDER! I had to drive back to my office to get the important files I had left on my desk. We’ve all been there. If I had only taken an extra 20 seconds to be sure I had everything I needed, I would have saved 20 minutes by not having to turn around.

I try to run my life by the “Rule of 20s.” I have found that if I take an extra 20 seconds, I may save myself 20 important minutes. Further, if I reflect on a business issue with my team for 20 minutes, we can often save ourselves 20 hours by starting off in the right direction.

By implementing the Rule of 20s into my day-to-day operations, my team has been spared many embarrassing missteps and dropped balls as we strive to deliver extraordinary customer service. I also use the Rule of 20s at home to help my kids learn preparedness and thwart off impulsive (and sometimes dangerous) decision-making.

Remember the Rule of 20s. Taking a moment now is the best way to save time later.

Categories: general


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