The Portfolio Approach to Time

One of Studio/E’s heroes, Greg McKeown, says in his book Essentialism, “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”

Nobody wants that.

What works for us at Studio/E is to apply a Portfolio of Time concept that helps us prioritize our time as follows:

70% – Execution. This is the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Following established processes and protocols, this 70% is how our business and lives are run.

20% – Innovation. This is time spent working on enhancing our operation, finding new efficiencies, and creating improvements to what we’re already doing every day.

10% – Exploration. This is getting out from under our routine (and predictable) tasks and responsibilities to gain new knowledge and insights. With exploration, the real value is created when you bring your new learnings back to share with others and apply them to your business and life in a meaningful way. This is where new possibility is discovered! And yes, it only takes 10%.

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Extra Credit: On a sheet of paper, draw the clock image from above. Think about your activities over the past week (e.g. your to-do list, the work you’ve done, where you’ve spent your time, meetings you’ve had, etc.), and write them out in the corresponding category on the clock: Execution, Innovation, or Exploration. What insights have you gained about where you spend your time? Are you in line with the 70%/20%/10% Portfolio of Time allocation? If not, how might you shift things to be more in line?

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