Posted on: October 18, 2012 Uncategorized

When I mentor groups of CPA practitioners, the one question I’m consistently asked is about productivity.  How can I find more time?  How can I use the workday more effectively?

Here’s one of the suggestions I share: engage in “90/10 preparation”.

Brian Tracy, the goal-setting and productivity guru, recommends spending 10% of your work week planning what the week’s tasks and projects will be.

For an 8-hour workday, that amounts to 48 minutes spent planning each day.

Seems like a lot of time?  “Wasted” time?  Don’t believe it.  Give this a try and you’ll be hooked.

Setting aside 10% of your day as prep time will make the remaining 90% of your day dramatically more productive.

In my experience, it’s best to plan at the start of the week.  Here’s what that looks like for me: on Sunday evening, I sit down for a quiet hour and plan the entire upcoming week.  I use a “to do list” to sort through and prioritize all of my work activities.  For each, I allot a day and time to work on it.

What’s really cool about this method is that by getting it all on paper before bed, I free up my subconscious mind to work on any challenges while I’m sleeping.  Powerful!

Then, at the start of each day, I revisit my to do list, check off the things I accomplished, and make any necessary modifications.

The benefits of 90/10 preparation are incredible.  Instead of fumbling through various projects, you’ll attack each assignment with determination and precision.  Believe me, you will see steady progress, and that sense of ongoing accomplishment will really have you energized.

Try the 90/20 method starting Monday.  By Wednesday, you’ll be hooked!  And once you see how much more effective you’ll become, you’ll want to encourage your entire team to go “90/10”, too.

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All my best,


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