Wouldn’t it fabulous to get more important stuff done, every day? 80/20 is a tool to boost your output, without any more time or energy. How so?
Italian economist, Wilfried Pareto, found 80% of results come from 20% of our activities. This 80/20 rule applies to countless things. For example: The top 20% of products account for over 80% of revenues. The top 20% of basketball players score 80% of the points. Fewer than 20% of the musicians earn over 80% of music royalties. The top 20% of taxpayers pay over 80% of the taxes. There are endless examples.
No, the outcome is not exactly 80/20 in all cases. For example, Amazon sells thirty-three million different books, but only five hundred titles sell over 100k copies. That is right: Over 98% of Amazon’s book sales come from 2% of the authors. However, 70% of the goals come from 30% of the hockey players. Even then, a small group of players score most goals.
The key takeaway is simple:
Most success comes from a small number of things. This rule is universal true. The 80/20 rule exists since the dawn of time.
How do we use this 80/20 rule in everyday lives?
You need to be ruthlessly honest, with yourself.
- Make a list of the ten things that take up your time.
- Circle the two things (20%) that boost results. Those are the ‘vital few.’ Do more of those things!
- Look at the other eight things. Those are the ‘trivial many.’
- Eliminate, or at least reduce, time devoted to those trivial activities.
Review your 80/20 list often. Be bold: Boost vital activities. Cut trivial activities. Dare to change your habits. Create more benefit for yourself, and for others. This is hidden treasure. Mine it.
The applications of 80/20 are endless:
Discard unused applications on your phone?
What about unused subscriptions? Social media? Web surfing? Can you cut back?
Do you have unrewarding clients, or shallow relationships? Eliminate or streamline?
What about key people – family, friends, and partners? Give them more attention and resources?
What new skills will you learn to boost your output? Learn them.
What about nutrition, and exercise? Better health makes everyone more productive.
The 80/20 rule is not about working less. It is about working smarter. There only are 24 hours in the day, so spend your time on what matters most. The results will be epic.