Over scheduling, never ending emails, not enough time in the day have you feeling a bit overwhelmed? Many of us finish out our day wishing we could get more accomplished, what if there was a simple math equation that will help you prioritize tasks and achieve more!
Have you heard of the Pareto Principle, or more commonly called the 80/20 rule? Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto was a 19th century economist in Italy, one day he was picking pea pods in his garden and noticed that 20% of his plants produced 80% of the peas. This got Pareto thinking, what if the same idea applied to economics and wealth? After more investigating Pareto found that indeed 20% of the population in Italy owned 80% of the land and that 20% of businesses were responsible for 80% of the goods being produced in the country. Pareto’s realization brought him to the theory that 80% of the productivity comes from just 20% of the population.
When I first heard about this principle I was stunned, how could only 20% of the population accomplish 80% of the work? Pareto called these people who produced the most the “vital few”, the 20% of the population that is willing to work longer and harder than anyone else. I couldn’t contain my excitement; I knew when I first learned about the 80/20 rule that I embodied the tenacity and grit to be in the top 20%!
I started thinking of ways I could add this principle to my personal and professional life…
The easiest way to utilize Pareto’s Principle is to identify the most important 20% of your to-do list and then use 80% of your time and energy to get it done. Many of us waste energy worrying about where to start, this principle helps you prioritize the most important things and handle them first. You will feel more accomplished, productive and have the energy to do more!
“Your greatest asset is your earning ability. Your greatest resource is your time.” Brian Tracy
Now let’s apply the 80/20 rule to your finances. We often get quick satisfaction from buying a “must-have” with a quick swipe on Amazon or going on a daily Starbucks run. Next time you have the urge STOP, take that money and save it. Use that extra dough to get out there and experience new things. Take those top 20% people in your life to a comedy show or out for a quick weekend getaway! You’ll make memories that will last a lifetime, become closer to your friends and feel much more satisfied about your purchase.
“Make 80 percent of the food you eat healthy, then take 20 percent of your daily calories and make them fun.” Jillian Michaels
There’s even a way to apply Pareto’s Principle to your personal well-being. Consuming healthy foods 80% of the time and allowing yourself to indulge 20% is a great strategy. Overall you’ll eat healthier but not feeling deprived from your occasional favorite treat. There are a few ways to incorporate the 80/20 rule into a fit lifestyle, maybe try exercising and being active 80% of the week then use the leftover 20% to enjoy time to rest and recover. Lifestyle changes have their own pros and cons so make sure you do your research and consult your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise routine.
“It is not shortage of time that should worry us, but the tendency for the majority of time to be spent in low-quality ways.” Richard Koch
I’m confident once you start applying the 80/20 rule in your life you will increase daily productivity, reorganize your life and prioritize to make the most of your time. Join me in becoming one of the vital few and creating more success for yourself both personally and professionally .
Be creative and have fun, leave a comment and let me know how you incorporate the Pareto Principle into your life!
For more on the 80/20 Rule listen to my Positive Forward Motion Podcast