The 80/20 Rule You Should Try

By Hannah Dania

The Pareto Principle and why it’s worth implementing

Monday to Friday, weekend, repeat. It’s like a never-ending playlist on replay and we all know how hectic life can get in this fast-paced world. Between balancing our careers, side hustles, social lives, and self-care, it feels like we're constantly juggling a million things at once. But fear not, because I’m about to drop a little productivity gem called the 80/20 rule, and how it can revolutionise the way we work.

So, what is this rule, you ask? Also known as the Pareto Principle, it suggests that 80% of our results come from just 20% of our efforts. Mind-blowing, right? Essentially, it means that we tend to waste a lot of our time and energy on tasks that don’t contribute significantly to our overall success.

Here’s how to make use of the Pareto Principle:

1. Identify the 20% that bring us the most value
Evaluate your work and identify the tasks or activities that give the greatest results. Is it that one major project that got you a promotion? Or maybe it’s the key clients that bring in the most revenue for your business? Whatever it is, pinpoint those activities that bear the most outcome and make them your top priority.

2. Cut out the unnecessary extras
The 80/20 rule teaches us that we need to simplify our focus and ruthlessly eliminate the tasks that don’t contribute much to our goals. Think about all those activities that eat up your day - social media scrolling, mindless meetings, or getting caught up in pretending to look busy. It’s time to bid them farewell! Tunnel vision mode on!

3. Redirect your time and energy towards the activities that truly matter
Set clear goals, create proper plans, and tackle the tasks that will push you forward. Remember, it’s always quality over quantity. By focusing on said tunnel vision, you can achieve a lot more in less time, leaving you with plenty of room for that much-needed self-care and Netflix binges.

4. Apply the 80/20 rule to your personal life
Now that the work bit is over, don’t make this rule alien to your real life. Identify the activities that bring you the most joy and fulfilment… is it spending quality time with loved ones? Engaging in a hobby you’re passionate about? If so, make those activities a priority and let go of the ones that drain your energy. Life is too short to waste on things that don’t bring us happiness.

Of course, like any rule, the 80/20 principle isn’t always 80/20. The numbers don’t have to be exact. Some days it could be a 70/30, even 90/10. The key is to embrace the concept and adapt it to your own circumstances. Experiment, track your progress, and make adjustments along the way. Make it your own Pareto Principle!

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash.

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