80/20 productivity rule

Are you someone struggling hard to be productive and don’t know how to grip on to a good schedule? 

In the age of the fast-tracking world, it’s often difficult to manage work most efficiently. Sticking to bookish rules is hectic and leads to nowhere. Most of us are looking at productivity all wrong.

Productivity refers to the accomplishment of important tasks first. It does not mean doing excess work rather focuses on the tasks that drive the maximum result. 

So, how do we decide to go all the right way? 

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle is one of the most important productivity principles of all times. Now, you might be thinking how a rule that tends to be popular in business fields can help you for real?

Whether in business or life hacks, this rule will inspire you to invest your time wisely and with less effort. 

The 80/20 Rule: A Brief Insight

Before I explicitly tell you about the rule, let us go back to the early twentieth century when the concept came into the light. An Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto explored that 80% of Italy’s land was owned by only 20% of its people. 

Also, he recognized similar events occurring in his garden where 80% of the peas came from 20% of the pea plants. 

In modern times, we call the same concept as 80% of your result will come from just 20% of the efforts. When you distinctly identify where to put your efforts to drive results, you are already applying the rule without any second thoughts. 

Before you get excited thinking about putting in less effort and driving more results, the principle is not asking you to work less. But to work out the important tasks first. Once you start to take care of your important 20%, you should bother less to think about the rest. 

Instances of the Pareto Principle

It is important to understand that working hard is always appropriate but doing it the smarter way is the game-changer. So, how does the magical ratio work for real? 

To give you a firm understanding of its vast applications, let us check a few real-life scenarios.

  • In freelancing, 80% of the income comes from 20% of the clients. So, instead of wrangling after multiple clients, learn to identify your potential clients.
  • In business, 80% of the profit comes from 20% sales. 
  • In software engineering, 80% of the program’s functionalities come from 20% of the developer’s effort. 
  • In health care, 80% of healthcare resources come from 20% of patients. 
  • In sports, 80% of the impact comes from 20% of exercises. 

No matter the situation, the rule is crucial everywhere you look. Intending to achieve super productivity, this is a must go to do a challenge. 

6 Easy Steps to Implement Your 80/20 Experiment

Skimming through the ins and outs of the rule, it’s time for you to get into action. 

Let’s check out the strategies to make it work for you. 

1. Prioritize your goals and visions

There are instances where people seem to stay busy and do loads of work thinking to be productive. Yet, those works seem to produce little results because of their low value. It is important to separate important goals from the unimportant ones. 

Setting up appropriate goals helps you to decide what things to accomplish first every single day. Note down your tasks in a paper and mark the most important ones. 

So, rank your goals and update them on a regular basis.

2. Fix your To-Do list

If you observe around, you will notice that the most productive people always practice keeping a to-do list in hand. Making a to-do list is more important than following it. 

Everyone says the hardest part about doing something is starting it. So, it is more important to fix your first actions and start it right away.

Writing tasks down boosts your productivity. Moreover, it keeps you accountable to finish an item off the list. Also, it works super as a visual reminder and keeps you stress-free. 

Tips to follow:

  • Write down 10 things every day to accomplish.
  • Figure out the most important 2 things that will give you the maximum result.

The concept is very simple but the ways you can apply it are endless. The point here isn’t the numbers but rather to simplify your life and focus on what truly matters.

3. Manage your time

              “All time management begins with planning”

Tom Greening

While you focus to set up your plans for the day, spend your time on the important 20%. The time management schedule or work pattern varies from person to person. Once you choose your peak time to work, schedule your tasks.

If you are a morning person, start doing the essential tasks in the early hours. 

If you are a night owl, complete your priorities in the late afternoon or evening. Also, embrace automation to streamline your productivity hours and keep a track.

Make sure to put your attention on the gains made by the most vital portion of your time: the twenty percent.

4. Identify your productivity constraints

It is not expected that you will be always in your best times or situations to accomplish anything. There will be downsides sometimes that lag your work speed. You need to figure out what stands between your time and success. 

What’s holding you back? Is it your environment or irrelevant excuses? 

When you allow yourself to discard the activities that are taking too much time, you are already there eliminating the productivity constraints. Concentration and focus on the important 20% will always drive greater results. 

5. Start and adapt to your trial week

       “Success has to do with deliberate practice. Practice must be focused, determined, and in an environment where there is feedback”

Malcolm Gladwell

Practicing the 80/20 rule in your everyday work is inevitable. Commitment and acknowledgment of your work will level up your confidence. 

Once you make all the plans, you will be able to observe what part of your work initiates the best outcomes. Review your findings and make necessary adjustments.

Practice it for a week and trial it more to see your progress. 

6. Audit all of your processes

Whenever you work on something, you are always expected to present a summary of your findings and conclusions. 

Suppose, you are an employee and your supervisor asked you to audit a monthly report and present it to him. Why does he expect such reports? To evaluate the work progress and suggest improvements. 

Similarly, to check whether the 80/20 rule worked for you successfully, audit all your potential findings. Believe me or not, it will help you to discover your strongest points. 

Final Takeaways 

Regardless of the profession, you are in, the 80/20 ratio is a magical rule to make you super productive. From making business decisions to personal development hacks, this habit is the ultimate triumph card. 

“Few people take objectives really seriously. They put average effort into too many things, rather than superior thought and effort into a few important things. People who achieve the most are selective as well as determined

Richard Koch

Make your 20% effort worthy of driving 80% results. 

Start your journey right away to achieve what everyone else has!