You can increase your efficiency and your effectiveness by becoming better and better at your key tasks. One of the most powerful of all time management techniques is for you to get better at the most important things you do. Your core competencies, your key skill areas, the places where you are absolutely excellent at what you do, are the key determinants of your productivity, your standard of living, and the level of achievement you reach in your field.
The market pays excellent rewards only for excellent work. You are therefore successful to the degree to which you do more things better than the average person. Your great responsibility in life is to determine what things you can and should do very well and then develop a plan to become very, very good in those vital areas.
Here is the key question: What one skill, if you developed and did it in an excellent fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on your career? Your weakest important skill sets the height at which you can use all your other skills. Be honest with yourself. What is your limiting skill? What is the one skill that determines the speed at which you complete your major tasks and achieve your goals? What is the one skill, the lack of which may be holding you back?
The Pareto Principle, the 80/20 Rule, applies to those skills that are limiting to your success. Eighty percent of the reasons you are not moving ahead as fast as you want is explained by the 20 percent of skills and abilities that you lack. This rule also says that 80 percent of your limits in life are contained within yourself. Eighty percent of the reasons you are not achieving your goals as quickly as you want is because of the lack of a particular skill, ability, or quality within yourself.
Look Within Yourself
The underachiever always looks for the reasons for his or her problems in the outer world. The high achiever looks within. The high-achieving person always asks, what is it in me that is holding me back? Successful people look into themselves for the answers to their questions and for the solutions to their problems. Unsuccessful people always look outside. Who do you think finds the solutions first?
Ask Others to Evaluate
Ask people around you to evaluate you in your critical skill areas on a scale of one to ten. The more accurate you can be about this exercise, the easier it will be for you to focus on the one or two skill areas that help you the most.