It’s never easy to prioritise a busy workload, especially under the current circumstances, where some of us are also trying to manage the kids. However, when applied correctly, there is one rule that can help you be more productive and make a significant difference to your day.
The Pareto principle also referred to as the 80/20 rule, is based on the idea that 80% of your productivity comes from 20% of what you do. The concept originates from Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who used mathematics to analyse the economy and study income distribution; this research found that 20% of the people earned 80% of the money available.
However, strategists and business leaders now embrace this ideology to develop pragmatic business principles that change the way we work.
We can see examples of this in many things.
– 80% of the clothes you regularly wear, form 20% of your entire wardrobe.
– 80% of your website traffic comes from 20% of your content.
– 80% of the time spent talking is to 20% of friends and family.
– 80% of your business’ income, comes from 20% of your client base.
While not an exact science, when you consider the 80/20 and how it fits in with your life and work, it can help you identify your “20%” so that you can enhance it.
The advantages of this are
– Learning what activities bring you or your business the best results.
– Improving how you manage your time and priorities
– Helping you to identify which of your tasks can be delegated.
So how do you start using the Pareto Principle to help you in your career?
The best place to start is to make a list of your goals. Your goals could be related to your job, personal development of any aspect of your daily life. Once you have done that, think about what actions you need to do to help you achieve those goals. 20% of these actions will yield the most significant results.
If you are a small business owner, identify the clients that contribute towards most of your income and prioritise them.
If you are a project manager, identify the tasks which contribute the most to your overall objective.
If you want to progress your career, identify what is needed and what training you need.
If you are developing a new product or service, identify the bugs and issues that account for most of your developmental problems.
The Pareto Principle doesn’t mean that the other 80% of tasks should be forgotten. However, identifying the key 20% will help you focus and work towards your ideal outcomes, with a greater chance of success, both in your career and everyday life.