The Pareto principle: the 80/20 rule
Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian sociologist and economist of the last century (he died in 1923) who listed a curious rule which today seems to have re-emerged strongly in the analysis of numerous disciplines and sectors of our society.
Pareto observed that the people in his environment were naturally divided between the “few of much” and the “Many of little”, divided into two groups of approximate proportions of 80:20. The minority group, formed by a 20% population, held 80% of something and the majority group, formed by 80% of population, 20% of something.
Rule in all areas
This 80/20 rule seems to be applicable in practically all the fields in which we test it and has been studied and demonstrated numerous times by statesmen. So, in our work for example, we perform 80% of our tasks in 20% of our time, and we take 80% of the time remaining in doing only 20% of what we have left to do (8 hours of work, we made the majority of our tasks in only 1.6 hours). The same applies to sales, 80% of our income comes from 20% of our customers. In the economic level, it has been estimated that the rule is still much tighter, the 10% of the population owns 90% of the world’s money, and 10% of the remaining money is shared between 90% of the population. Interesting, right? On which side of the equation are we?
Using Pareto in our personal development
The Pareto rule has applications in all fields, but we are interested in personal and spiritual development. How many programs, books, guided meditations, courses of different fields, etc. we follow? Which of them have the most impact on us and which are taking away our time and providing us few results? Where can we put our energies so that 80% of the results come only from 20% of the effort we make?
Personally, I always try to maintain a balance in my personal and professional life to obtain, for example:
● We estimate that 20% of the time we are productive to reach 80% of the results expected from us. Because of this, one of the reasons to work freely at home or outside of a 9-18 am is that you can search that couple of hours of the day you are better to be hyper-productive and get the same results as if you were sitting in the office for 7 hours. This can be applied to any professional field if you study carefully and make some changes in your current work routine.
● Eliminate tasks, actions, obligations, etc. that are outside of that 20% that generates the majority of things that only take away time without benefits or optimal results.
● Execute those actions that provide 80% of the results we expect, to say, go big, instead of adding little by little, focus on what it provides us immediately the greatest number of desired results. Something that can be extrapolated to any of the activities we do.
Optimize our life, our energies and our time
With this principle in our mind, and with only a little effort and analysis, we can get rid of all that is not part of that 20% of activity that generates 80% of the results. The change can be spectacular, because suddenly you can see a lot of time released, use it for any activity, for pleasure and fun, or to rest or for whatever you want, maybe to get more peace of mind by reducing the level of stress that can generate having so many things that we want to do at the same time, without getting the optimal results we expect from them.