80/20 Principle as One of the Most Effective Ways to
Increase Your Productivity is a guest post by Samantha R. Gilbert
In 1895, Vilfredo Pareto, the Italian economist, became aware that people could be divided into two groups. The first one was the “vital few” that made up the top 20% regarding influence and money, and the second referred to the “trivial many” that made up the bottom 80% of the population. Then, he realized that all economic management reflected this principle, that 20% of the population controlled 80% of the Italian capital in that period. Pareto asserted that this principle could be implemented everywhere. Practically, the rule suggests that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your outcomes. Therefore, this means you can apply this rule to enhance your productivity and achieve your goals in less time. Just follow these five steps and learn how to apply the 80/20 principle in your life.
1. Review your tasks
For starters, write down all items from your work to-do list, and include all activities that you do on a daily basis: from calls and answering emails to project work. It’s crucial to write everything because it will help you remember even the small insignificant task that otherwise would be forgotten.
Then ask yourself the following questions:
– Which 20% of your activities from the list are resulting in 80% of your wanted outcomes?
– Which 20% of your activities from the list are causing 80% of your problems?
Think carefully and proceed to the next step.
2. Make a plan
Once you’ve figured out which tasks have the most significant impact on your final goal, then it’s time to include them in your daily schedule. More importantly, make sure you do them first and do them in your peak productivity times.
Therefore, determine the part of the day when your concentration and focus are best. If you’re an early bird, then plan to do the essential assignments in the morning. On the other hand, if you’re a night owl, then plan to work in the evening. When your schedule is full of meaningful activities, all other ones can wait or even be eliminated.
3. Test the waters
Once you’ve made a plan, it’s time to test the waters and implement it in your daily routine for a week. That way, you’ll be able to check if the system works or you’ll need to add some fine adjustments and change it a little bit. Like every system, it takes time and effort to develop, so it’s quite normal to have some trial and error.
For instance, during this week you may realize that answering emails takes hours, so you might consider cutting back on the length of your replies. In other words, if you notice that something doesn’t work, come up with an appropriate solution.
4. Test the waters 2.0
After keeping track of the first trial week and analyzing the results, it’s time to include improvements in your schedule and test it again for a week. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so it takes times to create a perfect life and time management.
Again, check if everything works as planned and delivers desired outcomes. Otherwise, make some necessary changes. For example, if you’ve noticed that writing research papers, case studies or professional articles don’t result in wanted achievements, then consider outsourcing the work to some cheap writing services while you devote your time to activities that will bring needed achievements.
5. Implement it regularly every day
The last step and maybe the hardest – implement the 80/20 principle regularly. After a couple of trial and error weeks, you’ve made some adjustments and improvements which led to a perfect time management system aligned with your needs and ultimate goals.
When you determine the 20% that creates the rewards, you’ll be more efficient at work and achieve better results in a shorter time. That way, you’ll have more time for things that truly matter to you: spending quality time with your family or friends, exercising and taking care of your well being, working on your side hustle or whatever makes you happy.
Time is a limited resource and therefore make sure you don’t squander it because you can’t turn it back.
Use the 80/20 principle to make the most of your day and accomplish great results efficiently.
About Samantha R. Gilbert
Samantha R. Gilbert has been working as a journalist at an online-publishing agency in New York for 2 years. She is also a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, modern art and education. Meet Samantha on Twitter.
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on the 80/20 principle.
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To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success