The 80/20 Rule That Might Just Change Your Life
We always love a good business hack in our careers! And this one is a must. Whether in our business or personal lives, our energy and successes are always split according to Pareto’s law.
Pareto’s Law: 80% of results come from 20% of total input!
So, for example, you may only wear 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time. Or only phone 20% of your contact list 80% of the time you make a call.
Of course, the 80/20 rule isn’t concrete. You may find that 90% of your happiness comes from 10% of your fridge! But the general rule is that a large chunk of results will come from a small, select amount of the total available effort or resources.
Quit Wasting Time.
Pareto’s law can be interpreted as the weight of your energies in line with the weight of the results they generate. Quit putting your focus into the 80% that you aren’t passionate about, if they churn out very little results! Instead, nurture your high-yielding 20%.
In a business framework, if you’re an e-commerce business, 80% of your total sales are probably coming from the same 20% of return customers. Likewise, 80% of revenue is most likely being generated by 20% of the team. To kill it in business, you will need to identify your 20% groups and focus your energy there!
Start Working Smart.
If you are a blogger, consider the components of your article. The headline or the header image contribute to say 20% of the content but it’s fair to say that these elements determine the majority of the success of the post! Considering this, it would make sense to work smart and put energy into perfecting these elements.
Simply work hardest on elements that work hardest for you – you’ll avoid wasting time and generate killer results! The key is to focus on your passions and skills and outsource your less fulfilling tasks.
The Most Valuable Tasks
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.
Before you begin work, always ask yourself, “Is this task in the top 20% of my activities or in the bottom 80%?”
The hardest part of any important task is getting started on it in the first place. Once you actually begin work on a valuable task, you seem to be naturally motivated to continue. There is a part of your mind that loves to be busy working on significant tasks that can really make a difference. Your job is to feed this part of your mind continually.
Managing Your Life
Time management is really life management, personal management. It is really taking control over the sequence of events. Time management is control over what you do next. And you are always free to choose the task that you will do next. Your ability to choose between the important and the unimportant is the key determinant of your success in life and work.
Effective, productive people discipline themselves to start on the most important task that is before them. They force themselves to eat that frog, whatever it is. As a result, they accomplish vastly more than the average person and are much happier as a result. This should be your way of working as well.
Make a list of all the key goals, activities, projects and responsibilities in your life today. Which of them are, or could be, in the top 10% or 20% of tasks that represent, or could represent, 80% or 90% of your results?
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.