turned off MacBook Pro beside white ceramic mug filled with coffee

70/30 Principle | How To Take Control of Your Schedule

Imagine this: Your team is wrapping up a Monday morning meeting and your manager asks for a volunteer to present the team’s project at Friday’s company-wide meeting. Do you raise your hand? 

Scenario 1:

You love public speaking so you immediately raise your hand.

Public speaking falls into your 70%.

Scenario 2:

You feel a knot in your stomach at just the thought of speaking in front of the entire company so you avoid eye contact with your manager.

Public speaking falls into your 30%.

Whether you want to apply GiANT’s 70/30 principle to your personal or your professional life, this tool will help you be more intentional in how you schedule your days.

Braindom is powered by GiANT, a leadership apprenticeship company that offers free leadership-related resources and tools (sign up for free, no hidden fees).

What’s the 70/30 Principle? 

Deciding how to live with a healthy balance between tasks that energize (70%) and drain (30%) you is the core of GiANT’s 70/30 Principle.

GiANT Worldwide’s 70/30 Principle

You’ll know you’re acting in your area of “unconscious competence” (your 70%) when you’re in what is commonly known as the “flow state” or “being in the zone”. In this sweet spot, you feel the most confident and your actions come naturally to you. 

But this doesn’t mean that tasks of “conscious competence” (your 30%) are things that you are bad at. These tasks in your 30% are learned skills that take more energy for you to complete than that of a task in your 70%. For instance, you can be great at public speaking but since it falls in your 30%, you need a few hours to decompress afterwards.

As tempting as it sounds to fill your days with tasks that come naturally to you, living a life that’s 90/10 or even 80/20 lacks the challenge you need for growth.

The ideal balance between the 2 categories are, you guessed it – 70/30!

What’s the Purpose?

If you know which tasks will take up more of your energy, you can schedule it earlier or later in your week. Being self-aware of your energy levels will change how you approach your to-do lists.

WARNING – Knowing what falls under your 30% doesn’t give you an excuse to avoid those tasks completely. Knowledge is key but how you act with that knowledge is where you make positive changes.

Have you ever had days where you were exhausted even though you didn’t have a heavy workload? It’s likely that day was filled with more tasks in your 30%. 

Scenario: Public speaking is in my 30% and I’m scheduled to speak at a conference every Saturday for an entire month. It’s an unavoidable and necessary part of my career.

Solution 1:

Since I know myself, I mentally prepare for how I will feel post-conference and I let my family know that I’ll be low-energy those Saturday evenings.

Solution 2:

I know I’ll be low energy after the conference so I plan to walk around the area and practice my street photography (my 70%) before heading home.

Focus on what you can control in your schedule and don’t let your schedule control how you live your life.

Get Started Today

CHALLENGE: Grab a piece of paper or open up a digital notepad. Start reflecting on what tasks would fall under the 70% category and which would fall under the 30%. Which tasks are draining? Which tasks are energizing?

Here are some suggestions on how you can apply this to your life:

  • Weekly assessments
  • Monthly assessments
  • Indicator of your work-life balance
  • See where your passions lie
  • 70/30 + Peace Index (another tool) work well together to get a good understanding of your current state of mind
  • Think about trajectory of your day/week and mentally prepare if it’ll be more 30% work

There are many ways to apply the 70/30 principle, figure out which works best for you! 

WATCH: 70/30 Principle – 2 minute video explanation of the tool.

focus photography of car shift gear

How to Prevent Quiet Quitting in 2023

Quiet Quitting: the practice of doing no more work than one is contractually obliged to do, especially in order to spend more time on personal activities

collins dictionary

In 2022, the viral TikTok trend of “Quiet Quitting” circulated online and was a controversial take on preventing burnout and preserving your work-life balance. 

In this article, we’ll introduce GiANT Worldwide’s 5 Gears system and how implementing this can change your professional and personal life. This free tool provides the self-awareness that individuals and companies can adopt to sustain a healthy work-life environment.

Braindom is powered by GiANT, a leadership apprenticeship company that offers free leadership-related resources and tools (sign up for free, no hidden fees).

Defining Your Work-Life Balance

What does work-life balance mean to you?

Setting boundaries is the best way to establish healthy levels of work and personal life. The tricky part is figuring out what your boundaries are. Everyone’s relationship with work differs, so going 100% everyday may feel balanced for one person, but it may push someone else to burnout.

Because of this variability, self-reflection is vital in understanding your limitations and setting the appropriate boundaries in your life.

The 5 Gears

The 5 Gears system (pictured below) is a visual analogy you can use in your personal and professional space.

If you’ve followed Quiet Quitting anecdotes, you’ll notice the majority of those people were spending too much time in 4th or 5th gear without shifting down towards the other gears. Staying in one gear longer than your body can handle will lead to burnout. 

Once you learn to connect the gears to your behaviors, you can use the 5 Gears to optimize your schedule, your relationships, and the dynamics of those relationships.

GiANT WorldWide's 5 Gears explained
GiANT Worldwide’s 5 Gears

For more clarity, below are: scenarios, a warning sign that you’re spending too much time in that gear, and a tip for each gear (full list of warnings and tips are provided in the free 5 Gears Masterclass video series).

5th Gear – Focus Mode

  • Writing a book 
  • Designing a presentation
  • Brainstorming the strategies for the next quarter

Warning sign: Overwork affects your life physically and relationally.

Tip: Schedule a start and end time.

4th Gear – Task Mode

  • Checking emails right when you wake up
  • Constantly working on emails and messages
  • Fixated on crossing tasks off your to-do lists

Warning sign: You’re physically present but intellectually and emotionally absent.

Tip: Find time to turn your phone off or leave it behind.

3rd Gear – Social Mode

  • Having lunch with a group of colleagues
  • Golf outings with clients
  • Snowboarding trip with friends

Warning sign: People feel like you have a mask and that they can’t get close to you.

Tip: Practice 2nd Gear conversations and learn to go deep.

2nd Gear – Connect Mode 

  • A deep conversation with an old friend 

Warning sign: You put too much pressure on people to connect deeply with you.

Tip: Learn to have 3rd Gear conversations and be okay with it. 

1st Gear – Recharge Mode

  • Introverts: sleep, reading, exercise, meditation, or time by yourself
  • Extroverts: time with people, reading, enlivened experiences, or exercise

Warning sign: Escapism to reality is the norm.

Tip: Put healthy boundaries on your recharge time.

Reverse – Responsive Mode

  • Accepting responsibility and apologizing when you’ve made a mistake 

Warning sign: Using apologies to get what you want.

Tip: Be sincere in your apologies.

You may have an order you naturally gravitate towards from these gears. Take a moment and reflect on your past week. Which gear did you tend to stay in the longest? Which was second? Which gear do you need to spend more time in?

Again, being in the right gear at the right time is important. You don’t want to be staring at your phone sending emails (4th Gear: Task Mode) while you’re at dinner with your family (3rd Gear: Social Mode). This is an indicator of poor work-life balance negatively affecting your familial relationships.

To be present and productive, we need to be in the right gear at the right time as those we interact and engage with.

Right Gear, Right Time

When you are in the right gear, at the right time, that means you are in the optimal mindset for the situation at hand. 

The first step is knowing what gears you need to be in at certain times. The next step is being able to communicate this with your team to promote healthy communication as well as establish your boundaries.

(Bonus) Good Practices

Braindom LLC is a consulting firm, and introducing the 5 Gears is one way we help companies build sustainable and productive lives for their employees. 

Here are a collection of other good practices that Braindom has seen firsthand in companies that commit to enhancing their people-centric workplace environment. 

We have seen these companies:

  • Schedule emails to arrive during the employees’ region business hours. 
  • Encourage exploration of new and innovative ways to deliver the organization’s mission and vision.
  • See mistakes as learning and mentoring opportunities. 
  • Welcome differences in ideas and solutions. 
  • Multiple perspectives are considered before a final decision is made. 
  • Respect employee boundaries.

CHALLENGE: Adopt the 5 Gears system into your life for 30-days and see if you notice any positive changes. If you want to go one level further, share the tool with your family or your team and see if this mitigates any work-life balance issues in your interactions.

WATCH: The 5 Gears Masterclass – for the videos explaining the gears in detail and tips on how to switch gears.

Introduction to Braindom

Braindom (brain-dom) – the brain is one of the most powerful tool for a person to store all their knowledge, experience, aspirations, and dreams

Braindom provides resources and tools for companies to become employee centric and for individuals to reach their fullest potential.

Change is inevitable, and there will be variety of responses. There are some people who will quickly adapt to the change while others will slowly adapt or even resist it. By understanding why some people are early adopters and why some are late adopters, an effective leader will be able to influence the group to take ownership and embrace the opportunities.

Braindom operates within these 4 core values:

Compassion (Observe, listen, understand, and assist) – We are all human. Everyone we work with experiences the same hopes and fears. Our compassion allows us to understand where and how we can help.

Integrity (Honor our commitment to those we serve) – We own up to and learn from our mistakes and commitments. We choose courage over comfort to do right regardless of the consequences and the inconvenience.

Thrive (Never be satisfied with good enough) – Excellence is a habit, not a goal. We welcome changes and challenges with enthusiasm. We make it a habit to improve habits, to go above and beyond the call of duty because it is who we are.

Growth (Embrace opportunities to learn and improve) – We invest in ourselves through personal development and collaboration. With self-awareness, we continuously seek ways to add value. The more people we help succeed, the more we succeed.