Over the years I’ve heard about the 80/20 rule, which is also known as Pareto’s Law, named after Vilfredo Pareto who invented it. It’s based on his mathematical formula he created to demonstrate the distribution of wealth in society – that 80% of the wealth was created and owned by 20% of the population.
What made it popular was that it can also be applied to many other areas of life, for example:
- 20% of causes creates 80% of consequences
- 20% of effort creates 80% of the results
- 20% of customers creates 80% of the company profits
And so on and so on.
When you look at this law working in your life, you can see where things can be simplified.
Look at your work. See how 20% of your time and effort creates 80% of your results. What are you doing with the other 80% of your time and effort, that only creates 20% of your results?
It’s basically wasted time and effort. If you eliminate what you do in the other 80% of your time, and focus on that 20% that creates 80% of your results, then you can maximise those results by spending a bit more time and effort on what works and letting go of what’s not working.
Think of how much time and effort you can save, while creating better results for yourself!
You can apply this in all areas of your life by asking yourself two very simple questions and analysing your life accordingly.
- Which 20% of sources are creating 80% of my problems and stress?
- Which 20% of sources are creating 80% of my desired outcomes and happiness?
Using Pareto’s Law you can see that out of all of your problems and stress, 20% of the sources are creating 80% of the stress. Work out what that 20% is and resolve them, and you can eliminate 80% of your stress from your life.
If 80% of your desired outcomes and happiness is being generated by 20% of your activities, then focus your attention on that 20% and eliminate time spent on the other 80% that’s only delivering 20% of the results you want.
By eliminating what’s not working, and focusing on what is, you maximise the results that you want.
I’m interested in minimising the ‘stuff’ that I have in my life, so that there’s less stuff around to clutter up my life. I can already see how this can work in my life.
- 20% of my clothing is used 80% of the time. I can eliminate 80% of my clothing with little impact on my life.
- 20% of my kitchen goods are used 80% of the time. I can eliminate 80% of my kitchen goods with little impact on my life.
The end result is a LOT less stuff to worry about.
Can you thnk of other areas of your life where you can you apply Pareto’s Rule to simply and improve it? Or maybe you have some scenarios where you think it wouldn’t work? Please share in the comments below.
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