Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule)
The 80/20 Rule is among the most beneficial of all principles of time and life management. It is also known as the Pareto Principle after its founder, Vilfredo Pareto, the Italian economist. Pareto noticed that people in his society seemed to divide naturally into what he called the ‘vital few,’ or the top 20% in terms of money and influence, and the ‘trivial many’ the remaining 80%.
The Great Discovery
He later extrapolated his research and discovered that virtually all economic and non economic activity was subject to this Pareto Principle as well.
For example, this rule says that 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 raw materials will be used in 80% of your products, 20% of you customers will cause you 80% of your problems, examples are only limited by your imagination.
Do the Most Valuable Tasks First
If we take the 80/20 rule and apply it to time management we can say 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results during a given period of time, unfortunately the tasks that fall into this 20% are usually the hardest and most complex. But the rewards for completing these tasks efficiently can be remarkable. It is for this reason that you must stubbornly refuse to work on tasks in the bottom 80% while you still have tasks in the top 20% to be completed. Before you start work, always ask, “Is this task one of my vital few and so in the top 20% of my activities or is it one of the trivial many and so in the bottom 80%?”
Once you start work on an important task, you seem to be naturally motivated to continue. This happens because your mind loves to be made to work on tasks that can really make a difference, and so you must, continually develop this part of your mind by concentrating on the vital few things that fall into your 20%.
Managing Your Life
Time management is really life management or personal management. It is really taking control over what you do next. Regardless of your circumstances you always have a choice when it comes to choosing the task you will concentrate on next. The ability to choose between what is important and what is 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, whatever it is. As a result, they accomplish a lot more than the average person and are much happier as a result.
Till Next Time
The Time Doctor – Mike Gardner