To become a real efficiency pro and to get more successful, you need to know where to concentrate your efforts in priority. Why is this so important? Because the 80/20 principle offers you to take advantage of a simple observation. According to this principle, 80% of results you get come from only 20% of your activities! But it also means that 80% of your activities produce only 20% of your results.

The 80/20 Principle

It was in the fifties that the engineer Joseph Juran announced the principle. Drawing on the work of the Italian economist and sociologist Vilfredo Pareto, he found that this principle could be applied to many aspects of business management: sales management, inventory, production problems, etc.

Juran is also one of the pioneers of quality management that has helped make Japanese companies like Toyota international benchmarks in terms of reliability.

The Pareto law – principle or 80/20 – is extremely useful in many areas. In 1963, the U.S. Commerce Department said even in an article that 80% of claims come from only 20% of clients and that 80% of revenue comes only from the sale of 20% of revenue.

What you must remember above all is that through only 20% of all your efforts can you achieve 80% of your goals. And 80% of your efforts will provide you the results negligible, the remaining 20%. To increase your results, you must identify what the activities that give you the most from your search results are.

When they discover the principle 80/20, people are often surprised to realize how certain activities are unnecessary. They can greatly increase the quantity and quality of results they want by ceasing to be scattered and focusing on what makes them move faster.

To apply this principle, focus on activities that offer you the best results, and reduce or eliminate those that offer you the least. The 80/20 principle is a bit like making juice concentrate! You eliminate most of your activities of low value (water) to keep only the essentials (juice concentrate).

To Apply this Principle, Answer these Questions:

  • What are the 20% of my activities that provide me the best results (80% or more of my results)?
  • Which of my daily activities are those that bring me the most and ask me to provide the least effort?
  • How do I change my activities to give more importance to those who bring me the most results while reducing those that give me the least?

Once you’ve identified activities that have the greatest value, you’ll just need to concentrate on increasing the coverage. But remember your vision. You should never lose sight of your personal achievements and the knowledge of who you are and what you want in life.

If you apply the principle of 80/20, you will notice a remarkable change in your life. Hence the importance, thereafter, not to be scattered, as this will result in re-orienting your efforts towards the 80% that gives you that 20% of the results. Here’s how to help you stay vigilant and give you the motivation to move forward.

Take Advantage of the 80/20 Principle!

The key to success is all activities, tasks, habits, relationships, goals, customers, and so on, need to provide the results that you want. The best way to multiply your results is therefore to concentrate your efforts on the dimensions that make you the most. A tip: do not spend more than 10% or 15% of your time each day in activities that do not give you results, like watching television or surfing the Internet to distract you.

Too often, we do not care about how we use our time. This “myopia” is insidious because it keeps us in a situation where we operate under our potential. How can you overcome this inertia? Try replacing doubt with maintaining respect of your potential through the positive experiences of your daily achievements. You quickly find that you get a series of small successes that feeds your pride and motivation.

An important dimension to which you need to turn your attention also lies in how you earn your living. Indeed, since each of us needs money to live, and work is the usual way to obtain your employment, the fact that you are an employee, freelancer or contractor, plays a very important role.

That money and time are linked to each other is not a new concept. If you want to achieve something, you must have time to devote to your projects and have enough money to live according to your goals. You must have a job that allows you to do this, have plenty of time to carry out your work, or both. Unfortunately, few people receive such advantageous terms. Therefore, creating an environment conducive to your personal fulfillment is an important dimension on which you can devote your efforts.

Most often, people who earn a better living are those who have realized what they were passionate about. When you do what you love, you are very useful to society, and it doesn’t feel like “work”! This maximizes the scissors effect. Passion makes you more productive and you get more results without having the impression of too much effort. Isn’t it having your cake and eating it too?

Passion takes you also to read and learn incessantly about what interests you. You increase your skills and become a quick reference person in your area. Your mood improves daily. You have more people skills, you are more likely to talk about what you do – because it fascinates you – and you build without knowing a specific context you create opportunities.

In other words, passion helps you internalize the efficiency. And 80/20 is the principle at the heart of efficiency, because you apply, to your life, strategies that allow you to get more while working less. You can, yourself, focus your life firstly on your passions and devote less attention to consumption. You’ll soon certainly have your cake and eat it too.

Another article about the 80/20 Principle