Successful people use the 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto principle) every day because it saves time and money.
The 80/20 rule states that 20% of your tasks generate 80% of your results.
This strategy will skyrocket your productivity more than you thought was possible.
After all, working on your most effective tasks instead of killing time with busy work makes sense.
Unfortunately, some people continue to waste their time and never make the progress they wanted.
It’s not that they aren’t talented or skilled; it’s because they’ve put all their effort into the wrong things.
We’ve all fallen for this trap at some point, but you don’t have to stay on this endless hamster wheel.
There’s no reason to get your nerves frazzled with random tasks. Especially when they weren’t making much of an impact on your bottom line.
You’re in control of your life, and you have the power to break free from this cycle. At any time, you can change things around and start making things happen.
Examples of the 80/20 rule:
The following are just a few examples, and percentages can vary. But the gist of it is that a small number of your efforts generate the majority of your results.
- 20% of the employees make 80% of the results
- As well as, 20% of your products generate 80% of your profits
- 20% of your customers give 80% of the profits
Keep reading to find out how you can use the 80/20 rule.
How to use the 80/20 rule to gain more results in less time:
1. What tasks would boost your results the most?
“Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.”
— Peter Drucker
Write down the tasks that would move you towards your ultimate goal.
Look over your list and determine the value of each one. Then circle the most valuable items.
Now ask yourself what you aren’t doing that would make all the difference for your business or job. What would launch you towards achieving your ultimate goal? Write a book? Buy a house?
Whatever those game-changing goals are, write them down in your notebook.
2. Use the 80/20 rule by prioritizing your most valuable tasks
“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”
— Dale Carnegie
Strive to always finish your high-value activities first thing in the morning. It’s not easy and it’ll take some training to get used to it. But, it’s usually the complex, time-consuming processes that bring in the most results.
There will be a strong temptation to start working on the easy things in the morning but don’t take the bait. Besides, you don’t want to end up spending all day doing tedious work that gives no rewards.
Most people work all day and have nothing to show for it at the end of the day.
3. Eliminate low-value tasks
“Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.”
— Leo Babauta
Do you spend a ton of time on things that don’t bring you closer to your goal? Write out all the things you do every day and the benefits you get from them. As for the things that aren’t beneficial, see if you can eliminate or simplify them.
4. The 80/20 rule works best if you take regular breaks
“You must remain focused on your journey to greatness.”
— Les Brown
If you’re constantly working, then over time, your quality levels will plummet. That’s because there’s another rule or law called diminishing returns. It says that after a while, your extra work will fail to improve your results.
Therefore, working more doesn’t mean you’ll have a better outcome.
So, learn to realize when it’s as good as it’ll get, wrap things up and then move on to the next project.
5. Identify your barriers and conquer them
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
— Muhammad Ali
What obstacles hold you back?
Write them down and make a plan to defeat them.
For example, if you feel like you’re running in place all the time, then consider building more skills. Find out how you’ll learn them.
6. Batch tedious activities
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”
— Paul J. Meyer
Group all the little things you repeatedly do throughout the day that don’t give immediate rewards. Things like reading emails, calling people back, or filing paperwork.
Batching saves a ton of time and effort because you don’t lose time switching from one thing to another. You do the same kinds of tasks all at once and knock them all out of the way. It’s a powerful tool to get things done.
In short, the 80/20 rule is an excellent strategy to increase the results you get in anything you do. It’s not failproof, but you should see a massive improvement if you focus on your top 20% most beneficial tasks.
So, discover your most valuable tasks and do them first thing in the morning. Get them over with, so you can set your mind at ease.
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