Have you ever been interested in becoming more productive or managing your time better?
Then you’ve most likely come across the Pareto Principle before, also known as the 80/20 rule.
If you’ve never heard of it, then you’ll learn more about it in this article. The Pareto principle states that:
In any situation, 20 percent of the inputs or activities are responsible for 80 percent of the outputs or results.
And I’ll explain what that means, The principle was named after an Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto. He first observed this law in his garden.
What he noticed was that 20% of the pea pods generated 80% of the healthy peas. This observation led him to discover that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by just 20% of the population.
And we can even see this concept everywhere in our daily lives. For example, You wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time.
In a book, 20% of its pages contain 80% of the most important information.
20% of the company’s customers, produce 80% of the company’s revenue When it comes to Blogging, 20% percent of my content generates 80% of my views.
The Pareto principle shows up over and over again, in almost every field. But the inverse is also true. That means that the other 80% is only generating 20% of the results.
However, you should note that this is not a universal law, and it can differ in many situations. It’s not always going to be 80/20, it could be 70/30, 90/10, basically anything.
The point is that the majority of results come from a minority of causes. And the minority of results come from the majority of causes.
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How to use this principle in your everyday life (The Pareto Principle)
Now that we’ve established that this principle does indeed hold, let’s take a look at how you can use it in your everyday life.
Time is our most precious resource. We all have the same amount of time in our day. But most of us don’t use that time efficiently.
There’s a difference between being busy and being productive. Most people think that working more hours will get them more results.
However it’s not about the time you put in, it’s about how well you spend that time. If you haven’t applied the Pareto principle in your life yet, you’re most likely just being busy.
However, when the principle is utilized correctly it enables you to do more by doing less. If we go back to our previous example, we said that 20% of a book will give us 80% of the information.
That means that 80% of a book will only give us 20% of its value. Let’s say it takes you 10 hours to read 100% of that book.
By applying the Pareto principle you know that 80% of the most important information can be found in just 2 hours.
Yes, you could go deeper and learn more in-depth if you wanted to, but note that you will most likely have to spend 8 hours to get that extra 20 % of the information. It’s up to you to decide if you think it’s worth it.
If you’re still in school you can also take advantage of the 80/20 rule. The exams never contain 100% of the content. Never. Otherwise, it would be a 50-page exam.
You can get a good grade by identifying, which 20% of the content you were studying in class, is the most important. Studying the right topic for two hours will get you a much better grade, than studying the wrong topic for a whole week.
Again, you could reread every single page of the textbook and get that 100%. But if being a top student is not your priority, then it just might not be worth your time.
You can even do a Pareto analysis of your friendships. What you’re most likely to find is that 20% of the friends, give you 80% of your fulfillment and joy, that you get from social interactions.
The other 80% of your so-called “friends” are only giving you 20% fulfillment. Now you don’t have to cut away those friendships completely, but you don’t have to spend an equal amount of time with all your companions.
It’s much better to have a few close friends than to have a bunch of really distant friends. This is why you should spend more time on the 20% that gives you the most satisfaction and commit less time to the other 80%.
And that pretty much sums up the Pareto principle aka the 80/20 rule. It can be applied to almost any area of your life, whether it’s business or free time.
If you can identify the 20% that produces the greatest outcome, you can spend more time doing that, to create an even greater pay-off.
It also helps you cut back on 80% of things that waste your time, which creates only 20% of the results. It encourages you to think efficiently and focus on what is important. So think about what are some of the things that you could double down on, and which ones you should eliminate.
Tags – Philosophy, Productive, Facts, Pareto Principle