Are you spending your day in the most productive and efficient manner possible?
If you’re like most people, the answer is no. While most of us have every intention of spending our time primarily on those tasks that will result in the most income or happiness, we usually end up devoting our attention to problems and distractions.
The 80/20 rule can serve as a great reminder of what is most important.
According to the 80/20 rule, a small percentage(20%) of your activities account for the majority (80%) of your outputs and results. This, of course, is a rough guide. Sometimes it’s closer to 90/10. Other times, 70/30, but the principle holds true for most things in life.
How Does The 80/20 Rule Work?
In the early 1900s, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80 percent of income in Italy went to 20 percent of the population. Since that time, many business thinkers have observed that this principle – now known as Pareto’s Principle or the 80-20 Rule – holds true for many business activities.
With everything you do, only about 20 percent of it is vital and 80 percent of it is trivial. This can be applied in many ways such as:
- Roughly 20 percent of your clients will account for 80 percent of your profits. Think about those clients who not only hired you but referred business to you.
- 20 percent of your daily activities will account for 80 percent of your business’ success. Think about all the time you spend actively getting and working with clients vs. answering e-mail, surfing the web, lunch and coffee breaks, waiting for the phone to ring, etc.
- 20 percent of a project (the first 10 percent and the last 10 percent) consumes 80 percent of your time and resources.
- 20 percent of your inputs produce 80 percent of your outputs.
The Power of Focus
To be more productive and grow your business faster, identify and focus on the 20 percent that matters. Look for the places where you can get the maximum result. What activities should you be focusing on?
When you have focus, you know what it is you should be doing to maximize the best use of your time and resources. That allows you to optimize your efforts to produce the best results as quickly and efficiently as possible.
When you have a clear, accurate vision of what you want to accomplish, you are motivated to overcome obstacles that hold you back – like procrastination or paralysis by analysis, when you over-think problems rather than take action – and you can recognize opportunities you see that might be a better solution.