The 80/20 Rule.
You might have heard of it.
It is one of the most helpful concepts of time and life management and is called the Pareto Principle after its founder, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto.
Pareto first wrote about it in 1895 and he later discovered that virtually all economic activity was subject to this Pareto Principle as well.
For example, the rule says that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results.
20% of your customers will account for 80% of your sales.
20% of your products or services will account for 80% of your profits.
20% of your tasks will account for 80% of the value of what you do, and so on.
This means that if you have a list of ten items to do, two of those items will turn out to be worth as much or more than the other eight items put together.
Here is an interesting discovery. Each of these tasks may take the same amount of time to accomplish. But one or two of those tasks will contribute five or ten times the value as any of the others!
The most valuable tasks you can do each day are often the hardest and most complex. But the payoff and rewards for completing these tasks efficiently can be tremendous. For this reason, you must adamantly refuse to work on tasks in the bottom 80% while you still have tasks in the top 20% left to be done.
This, by the way, is something I have to work on and use a simple question to do so, What will make today a successful day?
So, this week before you begin work, always ask yourself, “Is this task in the top 20% of my activities or in the bottom 80%?” Or, ask my simple question if that makes sense for you.
And, resolve today that you are going to spend more and more of your time working in those few areas that can really make a difference in your life and career, and less and less time on lower value activities.
Have a terrific week.
Glenn “Principled” Edley