In 1896, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that about 20% of the peapods in his garden contained 80% of the peas. Expanding his observation beyond his garden, he realized that 80% of Italy’s land and wealth was owned by only 20% of the population.
His observation became known as Pareto’s principle or the idea of the “trivial many and the critical few.” In 1941, this principle morphed into the 80/20 rule when the management leader Joseph M. Juran applied Pareto’s findings to business quality issues.
Today, we can use the 80/20 rule to make changes in all areas of our lives, from boosting home based business marketing, fine tuning our relationships, and even recharging our health.
It comes down to this: the 20% of activities you focus on the most will produce 80% of your results.
Of course, the reverse is also true. Activities that require 80% of your time will only produce 20% of your results.
Sounds reasonable, right?
You’d be surprised at how many of us get stuck in the 80% of tasks that will not get us to our goal. And then we have even less time to spend on the more productive 20% activities.
Limit time in the 80% zone
You’re in the 80% zone if:
- you’re engaged in “urgent” tasks or things other people want you to do.
- you’re wasting time doing things you’re not good at (and could hire someone else to do).
- You’re complaining about your work, your lack of personal fulfillment, your health. And you can’t seem to reach your objectives.
Focus on the 20% zone:
Instead, flip your focus. Target the 20% of activities that will bring you greater happiness and productivity. You’ll be able to set priorities on your time. And you’ll feel happier with the outcomes.
In any area of your life, ask yourself:
- Where do I achieve my best results (in business, relationships, health)? Concentrate your efforts there.
- What makes me happy? What do I enjoy doing? Focus your energies on the 20% of these activities. And see 80% of your results!
How to apply the 80/20 rule:
- Pay attention to things that work hardest for you. Say good-bye to bad clients and focus on your best ones. Spend more time upselling and improving your home based business ideas and services. You’ll achieve stronger business relationships and more productive outcomes.
- Take a closer look at the people around you. Who are your advocates? Who do you enjoy being with? They’re the relationships you want to nurture.
- Spend 20% of your time being creative and producing output.
- Look at the 20% of the food you eat 80% of the time. Making positive changes in that 20% will produce 80% of your better health results.
- Focus on the 20% of your possessions that you value the most. Pare down the rest. You’ll find more joy in surrounding yourself with the things you love.
How could you make changes in your life by following the 80/20 rule? Let us know in the comments below.