The 80-20 rule states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Sleep, eat, school, homework, volunteer; rinse and repeat. In my early years at university, I was under the impression that any time not spent on work was me being lazy and not trying hard enough.
The 80/20 rule is not a formal mathematical equation, but more a generalized phenomenon that can be observed in economics, business, time management, and even sports. General examples of the Pareto principle: 20% of a plant contains 80% of the fruit. 80% of a company's profits come from 20% of customers.
In simplest terms, about 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of activities. Just a small number of tasks account for the majority of progress. The key then is to identify those key areas and focus energy there. This 80/20 rule has permeated time management literature and talks; it's honestly not a new idea.
The Pareto Principle states that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results, however, it is not a hard and fast mathematical law. It is a concept. The key to following the 80 20 rule is to identify that roughly 20 percent of your actions or most productive tasks lead to the most success.
Steps to apply the 80/20 RuleIdentify all your daily/weekly tasks.Identify key tasks.What are the tasks that give you more returnBrainstorm how you can reduce or transfer the tasks that give you less return.Create a plan to do more that brings you more value.Use 80/20 to prioritize any project you're working on.
Take Care of Your 20% First
If you've found that 20% of your effort is really resulting in 80% of your results, you'll want to prioritize and improve that 20% margin. This often means taking care of it first when you begin your workday.
You apply the 80/20 rule to everything you do and you focus on becoming outstanding in the 20 percent of tasks that contribute to 80 percent of your results. You dedicate yourself to continuous learning. You never stop growing. You realize that excellence is a moving target.
The 80/20 rule is a guide for your everyday diet—eat nutritious foods 80 percent of the time and have a serving of your favorite treat with the other 20 percent. For the “80 percent” part of the plan, focus on drinking lots of water and eating nutritious foods that include: Whole grains. Fruits and vegetables.
The Pareto Principle says that only about 20% of your activities are going to be responsible for 80% of your happiness. To apply the 80/20 rule here, try to focus on the things that make you happy. That might mean spending more time with your family and friends, or doing more of the things you love.