The 60/40 Rule For Managing Your Time


  • “If you just show up and you’re working through your calendar based on meetings other people put on there, and you don’t know what will move the needle for your week, then you are not yet living a conscious life. You’re in a reaction mode and not in a conscious building mode. Every week I need you to check in around this.”
  • It’s easy to see time management as a boring subject, but in reality, it’s literally the art of navigating your time in life wisely. In this episode, Brendon walks through a simple framework in order to reframe how you manage your time, cut the cord on useless tasks, and free up your energy to feel alive again.
  • “What would move the needle the most this week? Get real clarity about that and those two touch points every day. Looking at the big picture and every week knowing your needle-movers changes your life.”
  • If you’re looking for tips on how to use your time best for your business and personal life, this episode is for you!
  • Watch the video to get the full teaching!


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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of Motivation With Brendon Burchard. Please note that this episode, like all episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, Motivation With Brendon Burchard has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in the Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

The most successful people who also maintain their happiness and good relations with other people clearly said that they spend 60% of their time on what we would call needle moving activities, and 40% of the time they’re human, just like us. They manage the kids, manage the house, answer the emails, do the DM’s, return the voice messages, do stupid stuff that they feel like I wish I didn’t have to do. That’s life. They’ve got to pay taxes just like you.

1. 60% on Goal-Advancing Activities

So this is what you have to do. You have to go. Oh, okay. I need to look at my week and make sure 60% of that week is really oriented towards activities that significantly move me forward towards my goals. And your goals might be a lifestyle goal, a revenue goal, a completion goal, a project you’re trying to do. But this is what’s important, 60%. This means, you know, we got to have like three and a half days where you’re really focused on moving things forward. 60% of your time Now for a lot of people, that gets overwhelming. But I tell them, Oh, it’s so easy to do. If you think about it in an eight hour type work day, you know, we don’t actually need that much time. I basically need you to be incredibly effective and focused, maybe to around 1:00 each day. So if you start your work day, it’s like, okay, I need to make sure the most important things that are happening are going to happen this day. But 60% of your day is about that. So 60% of the day is really focused on the big things that move the career the most. 60% of time on the big things that lead to progress or reward or fulfillment the most. I can’t tell you what your needle moving activities should be, but you have to know what they are. And if you want to be high performing, 60% of your week goes to that. 

2. 40% On All The Other Things Life Throws Your Way

The other 40% is everything else you have to do. Everything else that people put on your plate, the emails, the admin, the stuff. Right. It just is real. But I really love that because a lot of people, what they do with their time is they try to do 100, 100. They’re trying to squeeze everything in every single ounce, every single day, and they burn themselves over time. What high performers found instead of running 100/100, they ran 60/40. And so because there’s some slack in the system, there’s no burnout. And so over a period of time, you know, in any given week, you think this other person, they worked 120%. You only work 60%. Yeah, but it’s not about the number of hours. It’s about whether or not you were doing the needle-movers enough. That make sense? You can work 50 hours doing something, but if most of that’s wasted time on things that have no quality of output don’t matter towards the goal or the result. Yeah, you wasted a lot of time. You worked a lot of time, but you wasted a lot of time. I want to make sure you’re effective and efficient with your time. So the needle-moving activities. 

3. Prioritize The Needle-Movers

So here’s what you need to do. Every single week you need to go, “What would be the needle- moving activities this week?” Every week you need to know that if you’re new to GrowthDay, we teach this concept called “Friday Finishers’. You go into your plan section. You create a checklist called Friday Finishers. And these are the things you’re going to complete by the end of the week. And when. So, okay, I’m going to write that first chapter. By the end of the week, because that’s a needle mover towards me fulfilling my dream of my next book. Right? You might say, “Oh, I’m going to reach out. I’m going to make ten calls by the end of this week.” Great. That’s moving the needle towards my sales goals. Whatever it is, you have to know that every week, if you just show up and you’re working through your calendar based on meetings other people put on there and you don’t know what will move the needle for your week, you’re not yet living a conscious life. You’re in a reaction mode, not creation-conscious build mode. Every week I need you to do that so we can summarize. How simple is this? Every morning I want you to look at your year before you begin each week. Most of us do this during the Sunday planning session. Maybe you do it early Monday morning.

You go, “Okay. What would move the needle the most this week?” Get real clarity about that and those two touch points every day. Looking at the big picture and every week knowing your needle-movers changes your life.

4. Utilize Block Time

Once you know your needle-movers you block the time to do those right. That’s what you saw a bunch of people saying, ”Brendon, I do your block time.” Block time is when I block out in the calendar the major needle moving activities for me this week. And it’s in the calendar. It’s not like if I get to it when I do it, it’s like, Nope, there it is. And the more you go, there is that block of time and that you teach yourself to do that. The more effective with time you are, the more time you have for freedom, for enjoyment, for fulfillment, for completion, whatever it is. Okay, So that’s so important.