Otherwise known as the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule of time is a celebrated tactic in business, but can also be useful for everyday life.
Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto pioneered the principle. It was derived from the idea that there is a divide between the masses. An elite 20 percent when it comes to wealth and influence and the rest of the population, which account for the remaining 80.
While this was the initial discovery, he found that the principle seemed to apply to other matters that work as a determinant of success. This concept can be used for time management is every sense.
The Goal of Setting Goals This Way
If you’re looking to experience a more productive life, applying the 80/20 rule might be for you. The principle goes on to demonstrate that if you were to construct a to-do list, a mere twenty percent of that list would have the highest probability of making an impact on your success.
Meaning, eighty percent of your to-do items have lesser value than that twenty percent. Understanding this principle adds a sense of “high priority” to those tasks. It minimizes the chances of you essentially wasting time.
We must consider that among lists and tasks, there is a certain level of procrastination and unnecessary time spent dealing with trivial matters. The trouble and disciple come with deciding and identifying which things fall into 20, and which fall into the 80.
How to Apply the Pareto Principle
To break it down in a more general sense: the Pareto Principle can be best described as 80% of the result coming from 20% of effort or cause.
The Harvard Business Review suggests this five-step application of the rule:
- Create six priorities for tomorrow, and write them down.
- Cross off the bottom five.
- Write down your top priority, and keep it somewhere you’ll have it visible for tomorrow.
- Allot 90 minutes to work on this priority. The earlier, the better.
- If you find yourself distracted, document each distraction, like checking your social media before you do it.
Thinking of giving it a shot? Experiment with this time management technique for a while to make sure it works for you.