The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80-20 rule, is a powerful concept that we can all use to improve our own lives.
According to Wikipedia:
The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
Business-management consultant Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population; he developed the principle by observing that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.
So what does that mean to you? It means that if you look hard enough at your life, you will find that 80% of your successes come from 20% of the work, and that 80% of your efforts lead to only 20% of your success.
It means that 20% of your work on your job, blog, email, planning, or any other part of your life most likely creates the bulk of the results. If we can use that principle to our advantage, we can cut out the crap that we hate doing that leads to little reward, and we can free up a lot of time to do what we want.
One place that I applied the 80-20 rule in my life is my email. I get tons of email. I found that putting in a little effort, I could easily weed out well over 80% before it hits my inbox. The messages that make it through are the ones that I need to reply to for well over 80% of the results I want out of my email.
What is your 20% that creates 80% of the results? What is the 80% of work that you can cut down on?
If you take a few minutes, you can quickly find your time suckers and easily spot your big accomplishments. In the comments below:
- Share something about how the 80-20 rule works in your life.
- Share something you are going to do this week to cut the crap and focus on the big wins.
- Share how you would use the freedom 80% of your work time could give you to better use.
Photo by kaylan02/flickr
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