If you are just hearing the Pareto principle for the first time, you’ve probably not paid significant attention to time management. Also known as the 80/20 rule, the Pareto principle is applicable to anything measurable, whether in your business or personal life. It’s a great tool for boosting time management.
So, How Does the 80/20 Rule Work When It Comes to Time Management?
First of all, this rule originated from Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist. Back in 1895, Pareto observed that only 20 percent of the people own 80 percent of the lands. As a result, he concluded that every economic activity may be rooted in this same principle.
The Pareto Principle states that “20 percent of an individual’s activities will be responsible for 80 percent of the outcomes or results that the individual gets.” Here’s a typical instance; 80 percent of your sales would be generated from just 20 percent of your customers. Also, 20 percent of all the tasks you do will be responsible for the 80 percent of the result you get.
Therefore, in applying this rule to time management, it means that only 2 out of the 10 items in your to-do list will ultimately produce much more value than the remaining 8 tasks or items on your list. You should get it right. This principle is not saying you should work less. But, it encourages you to channel your time, resources, and strength to those things that bring the most result. These are basically those tasks that promote the fulfillment of your set objectives and goals.
A Pareto principle is actually a helpful tool for entrepreneurs since they tend to always take up more than they can chew in running their businesses. It has been said that the Pareto principle is the best and most practical time management rule – though some people argue it is not.
Take a Second Look at Your To-do List
Now that you have a better understanding of this principle, don’t you think it’s high time you reconsider your to-do list? Often, our to-do lists comprise of many activities, and most of such activities do not have a direct and meaningful impact on our goals. You should let your to-do list reflect those tasks and activities that are the most important. At the same time, the list should also consider the worth of the effort required. In essence, you should prioritize the things you need to do according to the volume of effort involved.
Assess Your Entire Tasks and Goals
Also, you need to pinpoint those 20 percent of your entire tasks that will lead to 80 percent of the outcomes you desire. The best way to accomplish this is to ask some relevant questions such as the following;
- Do I see all my functions and tasks as being urgent?
- Do I spend excess time on a particular task?
- Can this task contribute meaningfully to the realization of my goals?
- Do I have the specific skills for this task or should I outsource to an expert?
Finally, for the Pareto principle to produce the required result, you should identify your most productive hours.
Daven Michaels is a New York Times Best Selling Author and CEO of premiere global outsourcing company, 123Employee. The company employs hundreds of young bright individuals on three continents. His International event, Beyond Marketing Live! Inspires entrepreneurs to build & grow their business with revolutionary new theories and systems allowing them to design the business and personal lifestyle of their dreams