The 25-50-25 Rule of Time Management

There are only three ways to learn either a new process (e.g., starting an Internet business) or a new skill (e.g., copywriting): studying, observing, and doing.

The 25-50-25 rule says that to master a skill or process, and put what you learn into practical action, you must divide your time as follows:

  • No more than 25% of your time is spent studying – i.e., reading books, going to boot camps, attending workshops, dialing into tele-seminars, listening to CDs in your car.
  • No more than 25% of your time is spent observing – watching what successful people in your field are already doing; e.g., if you want to become a direct mail copywriter, this means reading and analyzing the direct mail you get in your mail box each day.
  • At least 50% of your time is spent actually DOING the thing you are studying and observing – e.g., if you want to sell information products on the Internet, you are creating your first product … designing your Web site … or building your list.

Acquiring business knowledge is a worthwhile activity. But without action, that knowledge is worthless to you.

Here's a little secret that may be helpful: You don't have to know everything – or even most of what there is to know – to succeed in most endeavors.

For example, there are hundreds of strategies for making money on the Internet.

But you can make a six-figure annual income online using only a few of them, even if you never bother to learn the others.

When we were kids, our parents and teachers told us to study, study, study.

But I see many people today much more enamored with studying and reading about business, marketing, freelancing, and entrepreneurship than actually doing.

Well, I understand that. Reading about marketing is fascinating – and fun. And it's within your comfort zone.

But the money is in the doing, not the reading.

Follow the 25-50-25 rule, and you'll be doing – and making money – at least half the time.

For more time management tips, see my e-book "Super Productivity for Writers."

The AWAI Method

The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter

The AWAI Method™ combines the most up-to-date strategies, insights, and teaching methods with the tried-and-true copywriting fundamentals so you can take on ANY project — not just sales letters. Learn More »


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Published: May 25, 2010

1 Response to “The 25-50-25 Rule of Time Management”

  1. Absolutely correct, 50% of your time can be spent doing. There are a number of web sites out there that do not pay much for freelancers, but to get your juices flowing in the morning I hook up with one and maybe do a 300 to 500 word article just to keep the creative juices flowing and warm up the mind as well as the fingers. It is fun and gets the mind working. I love to write so this is how I warm up........

    ziggy stardust


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