Applying The 80/20 Principle

The 80/20 Principle (or Rule) means that in anything a few (20 percent) are vital and many (80 percent) are trivial.

The principle is applied in a variety of ways:

  1. 20% of the people have 80% of the wealth.
  2. 20% of your workers do 80% of the work.
  3. 20% of your tasks will result in 80% of your effectiveness.

The principle basically says that out of all the things you do today, only 20% of those things really matter. So the question is…what is your 20%?

You have the capability of creating a todo list as long as your arm. But not everything on that list is a productive use of your time. You may oversee a large number of people. But not every person under your care is going to be equally as effective.

The 80/20 Principle is an exercise in priories. Not simply knowing what’s most important, but also understanding what is most effective and then focusing on those few things.

Of course, a quick disclaimer here: Don’t go around telling people that they’re part of your 80%. And if your supervisor insists on you doing something right away, you’ll need to find room for it in your 20%. Think of the 80/20 Principle as a target on the wall. Sometimes it’s more of a guideline than a hard, fast rule.

How can you organize your day to do more of what matters and less of what’s trivial?

Share this Post

Leave a Comment