The 80/20 rule is an extremely useful concept anyone can use to enhance their life and productivity. It is also known as the Pareto Principle, which suggests that 20% of your actions will account for 80% of your results. The 80/20 Rule or this Pareto Principle is an efficient technique to adopt in enhancing your productivity.
Everyone wants to increase their productivity so they can achieve more of their goals. We want to use every hour to achieve an objective, and yield beneficial results. However, being fully productive is easier said than done, as it comes with it’s ups and down.
The 80/20 rule, if effectively leveraged can dramatically enhance your productivity.
But first What is the 80/20 rule?
The 80/20 rule is also called the “Pareto Principle”, which is named after it’s founder, Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist in the year 1895. Pareto observed that the society divided naturally into two segments, “the vital few” or the top 20 percent relating to money and influence, and the “trivial many” or the bottom 80 percent.
He later discovered that almost all economic activities were subjected to this principle. About 80 percent of the Italy’s wealth during that era were managed by 20 percent of the population.
If we can understand and apply Pareto’s 80/20 rule to any situation, it will help us effectively prioritise tasks.
Using the 20 percent
People usually confuse and misinterpret the 80/20 Rule to mean being able to work for only 20 percent of the day, but this isn’t how the Pareto Rule works.
The Rule is not about analysis. It details more of exercising a business mind to know where your best results come from. It can be used in every area of your life to improve your productivity.
The 80/20 rule is an idea that entails making a to-do list of ten items with the first two listings having the highest value to represent your 20 percent. The remaining eight items on the list will cover your 80 percent.
However, so many people procrastinate on the items that have the most value to them, which is the “vital few”, and get busy with the least important, which is the “trivial many”, that plays minor roles in their success.
Here are 3 ways you can use the 80/20 rule to enhance your productivity and achieve maximum performance in your life.
1. Do the toughest task first
Nobody likes tough tasks and we often think that the best way to remain productive is to start with the minor things first. This can get counterproductive because the tough tasks will remain in your mind all day and double you up to feeling under pressure and stressed because it is not yet done.
The best way to be productive is to handle the toughest task first. There will be relief once it is done. Additionally, you will know how much time you have left for the simple tasks. But if you get done with the easy tasks first, there may not be enough time to complete the tough task, and you will have to do it the next day which elongates the unhealthy cycle.
2. Identify and avoid any distractions
The Pareto Rule can help you remove any form of distractions from your phone, colleagues or friends. However, you can use the distractions as a reward after you have completed your 20%, which will aid productivity.
You can check your phone, speak to your colleague or a friend once you have completed the hard task. Until then you need to get the job done.
3. Get help when necessary
You can get additional help to support you in doing the minor tasks to make the process of accomplishing them faster. However, this is after you have established your 20%. Tools you can use might be project management software or anything within your niche, will enable them have more time to prioritize their 20%.
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