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How to 80/20 Your Life

The Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle

... or the 80/20 principle was coined in the early 1900s by Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist. He observed that the pea pods in his garden were producing peas at this rate. 20 percent of the pea pods produced 80 percent of the peas. This output was then observed by him on a larger scale, across industries, societies and companies.

This principle states that 80 percent of the output or results comes from 20 percent of the input or effort.

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How to 80/20 Your Life

How to 80/20 Your Life

https://markmanson.net/80-20-your-life

markmanson.net

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Key Ideas

The Pareto Principle

... or the 80/20 principle was coined in the early 1900s by Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist. He observed that the pea pods in his garden were producing peas at this rate. 20 percent of the pea pods produced 80 percent of the peas. This output was then observed by him on a larger scale, across industries, societies and companies.

This principle states that 80 percent of the output or results comes from 20 percent of the input or effort.

Universal Law

The Pareto principle has been seen working in various fields, and domains:

  • Sales and Marketing departments recognised that 20 percent of the customers brought 80 percent of the products, and 20 percent of their sales force made 80 per cent of the sales.
  • Businesses realized that 20 percent of the costs led to 80 per cent of the expenses. They saw that only about 20 percent of their effort created 80 percent of productivity.
  • Human Resource departments observed that 20 percent of the employees created most of the value (80 percent).

Identify Your 80/20

We have never considered this before but the same principle applies to our lives.

  • The kind of food we eat, only 20 percent of it really matters.
  • The people we meet, 80 per cent of those are not worth meeting.
  • The stuff we buy (like clothes and gadgets), 80 percent of it we hardly use.
  • The things we do 80 percent of the time, are not providing many benefits or fulfilment.
  • The money we spend, most of it is not useful or healthy for us.

Review Yourself

The 80/20 law, like gravity, is everywhere in your life.

Check your money flow, relationships, possessions, and the things you spend your time on, and find if there is any improvement that can be made in your life.

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Applying the 80/20 Rule in Goal Setting
  • Assess your goals. Work on the most valuable all the time.
  • Work on the tasks with the greatest impact.
  • Think like a wealthy person. Do what one does.
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A dream is the root of all success, for having a dream does not limit you on what you can do. Successful people allow themselves to lean back and imagine the kind of life that is possible for them.

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Identifying What's Truly Important

20% of your activities will account 80% of the results, and vice versa. Start working on the most important tasks, it may be complex or difficult but it holds majority of the outcome. 

Neglecting 80/20 = Mental Clutter

Not having clear goals makes it hard to focus well on your priorities at hand. Applying the 80/20 rule will lift that mental clutter and enable you to focus better on your priorities. By merely identifying that this task is a priority, you’ll start to approach it with more impact and intensity.

The Pareto Principle (the 80/20 Rule)
The Pareto Principle (the 80/20 Rule)

It is an idea discovered by an Italian economist. It says that power and wealth is distributed like a reversed hockey stick where a small percentage of the population (20%) owns majority of...

80/20 Rule All Around

The Pareto Principle could also be observed in almost every industry:

  • In software, 80% of the errors and crashes in a system would be eliminated by fixing the top 20% of the most reported bugs.
  • In sports, 20% of athletes participate in 80% of the big games
  • In business, 20% of the products bring in 80% of the revenue.
80/20 Rule: Threat or an Opportunity?

It is hard to accept the truth that there are inequalities everywhere. But depending on how you see it, the rule could help us filter out unnecessary data, better channel our resources, and make better decision in work and life.

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