4 Time-Management Principles that Explain Why Type-A Breakfast Works
Type-A Breakfast is a ‘co-working meet-up format’ for Type-A executives and entrepreneurs.
At every session, participants complete a full-day’s work in two hours — starting at 7:30 am, and ending at 9:30 am — setting them way ahead of their game.
I started the meet-up in Melbourne, and with some friends, recently established it in Singapore.
We’ve had four very successful sessions in Singapore so far, and many who’ve heard of it have asked “how does it work?”
This post does not answer ‘how’ it works. Instead, it explains ‘why’ it (the Type-A Breakfast Format) works.
There are three principles at work at a Type-A Breakfast session; and we operate on a simple, evergreen time-management method…
First: Pareto’s Principle / The 80–20 Rule
We start by recognising that 80% of our results will likely come from 20% of our efforts.
This rule-of-thumb has its roots in original thinking by economist Vilfredo Pareto; and the Pareto Principle is also known as the 80–20 rule, or the law of the vital few. (Source: Wikipedia)
How do we apply it? Before each Type-A Breakfast session, we list all the work we want to complete for the week… AND — we identify the ‘vital 20%’ of work that would produce the most leverage and strategic value.
This — should account for a full-day’s work. And is the “8 hours worth of work” that we tackle at each session.
Second: The Ivy Lee Method
Once we’re clear about work we want to do, we create a list of no more than six tasks —in order of importance — to be completed without interruption.
In this famous time-management anecdote, Charles M. Schwab paid time-management consultant Ivy Lee the present-day equivalent of $400,000 for that simple piece of advice. (Source: James Clear’s The Ivy Lee Method: The Daily Routine Experts Recommend for Peak Productivity)
Time management gurus after his time have repeated the same advice or adopted some variation of it.
List the six most important things to do, and do them. It’s that simple.
What’s complicated — is our struggle with distraction. And that’s where the other two principles behind Type-A Breakfast come in…
Third: Parkinson’s Law
Parkinson’s Law simply asserts that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. (Source: Wikipedia)
At every Type-A Breakfast session, participants strive to “complete 8 hours of effective work in 2 hours”.
This self-imposed time-constraint forces us to drop non-essential, inconsequential work, and focus only on the vital 20% of work that counts.
As a result of the time-pressure, we tend to overcome procrastination and avoid perfectionistic tendencies.
Fourth: Social Influence or Peer Pressure
When you’re surrounded by fellow Type-As who wake up at 6 am (or earlier) every Monday morning — to work hard — you really don’t want to spend time on Facebook, answering leisure chat messages, or simply re-reading emails.
And that’s the final principle that brings it all together… recognising that peer pressure can create a powerful environment for work.
So — let me summarise…
First, observe Pareto’s Principle — choose effective actions that will ordinarily take up only 20% of your time, but give you 80% of your results.
Then, use Parkinson’s Law to your advantage… and create an artificial time-constraint so that you work efficiently.
Both of that happens at a Type-A Breakfast session, where Social Influence or Peer Pressure creates an environment that keeps you focused.
It’s that simple…
Four principles that ensure that you start every week with massive progress — even before most of the world gets to work on a Monday morning.
That’s how we get ahead.