The struggle that you go through at least once a week trying to get your crap together before all those deadlines pile over you? Also, not to mention trying to deal with day to day personal life aspects that “should be easy” but somehow you always find yourself feeling merely unsatisfied?
It might be a good time for us to introduce you to the 80/20 rule! What is this numerical rule you might say? Let us enlighten you!
What Is The 80/20 Rule?
The 80/20 rule basically explains that 20% of your efforts produces 80% of the outcomes. A dude back in the days named Vilfredo Pareto came up with the initial idea of the 80/20 rule and applied it to the fact that 20% of Italians owned 80% of the wealth. Well that is him explaining the divide of wealth but in this article it is all about something else – MINDSET.
The 80/20 rule could be one of the most simplest principles to understand once the real concept of it is grasped. Hence it is that ‘results of a big mass are usually from a smaller cause’. This means the 80/20 rule champions the fact that 80% of your results should only take up 20% of your effort. BUT it can also go both ways where 80% of hard work only produces 20% of effective work. And that would not be very effective isn’t it?
Not to worry, here are a few on how you could apply the rule to better your life and career!
80/20 Rule: Daily Life
Hanging around with a group of friends that provide positivity and support in your life would be a great start to applying the 80/20 rule to your relationships with people.
20% of your friends who contribute to your anger, negative vibes and unhealthy activities could be the ones that you spend 80% of your time with. The ones that say “Bro jom ah lepak!” but are usually never there when you actually need help, yup those are the ones I’m talking about.
In applying this rule, discard those people under the bottom 20% and start spending more time with the remaining 80% that really matter. Remember, this isn’t being mean, its just being more rational about who you choose to surround yourself with.
Sometimes its not how long you spend in the gym, but its what YOU DO in the gym that counts. Applying the 80/20 rule is a simple concept where you should focus your time on 20% of the workouts that could give you 80% of your fitness gains.
Most of our physical gains come from short bursts of workouts, not from hours of exercise. HIIT workouts are a great example. Otherwise known as high intensity interval training, they can range from only 10 minutes to 30 minutes and they are intense fast paced workouts with a short recovery. Besides, short and intense exercises are said to burn more calories and boost metabolism.
Now, what’s better than getting fitter in a short period of time? Maybe some ice cream but you shouldn’t of course, plus you’re more likely to show up to the gym knowing you’ll only need to be there for a short while. Not slogging it out and gaining only little by little.
Applying the 80/20 rule in terms of life experiences would to be focus on the 20% of the experiences that provide you with 80% of happiness. Constantly trying to do EVERYTHING and trying to take every single opportunity that comes in your way isn’t always the best, and it is also just plain tiring.
Sometimes picking from your choices and chances could be more rewarding by giving you a more positive vibe in life, and may also give you more pleasure rather than focusing on everything that ‘stands a chance’.
One of the whole ideas of life is to be happy, thus prioritizing certain aspects and focusing on the top 20% could start you off to the right path to happiness! Remember that you just can’t do everything!
80/20 Rule: Your Career
1. Don’t be a perfectionist
Some of us tend to waste too much time on certain things just because it does seem ‘perfect’ enough for our standards. Focusing too much time on a task that does not actually require it could be one of your downfalls. Often a task needs to be ‘good enough’ not ‘perfect’.
Spending 80% of your efforts on a task that only requires 20% could cost you not only the effort, also a grand wastage of precious time. Producing good quality work is important but once you find yourself allocating too much time on it, that is when you know its time to take a breather and think it through rationally.
2. Avoid procrastination
That being said, shifting focus of a task could be useful but you can only do that once you actually GET STARTED on the task. Procrastination seems to always get the best of us, and we somehow mentally convince ourselves that we can complete the task the day later, and that playing video games or watching gossip girl seems like a way much better choice now.
Yes, I know life can be unfair sometimes where it requires you to complete a task regardless of your liking towards it. You don’t get what you want all the time buddy! Hence, spending 80% of your time doing stuff that actually can wait and then only being left with 20% of your time to struggle and complete a task, would definitely not be fun, I can guarantee that! So switch the numbers around and make things happen!
3. Schedule your tasks based on time and energy
starting your day having an idea of what you will be doing is not good enough, because it is ever so often that you can get strayed easily. Scheduling particular tasks to a specific time frame of the day could be very useful in giving you a guide on what to do, when to do.
Some people may have a different time frame of the day where their productivity is at its most high. Some work well in the morning, some work well in the night. It is entirely up to you which time works best for yourself and that time is where you should focus 80% of your efforts in. On the less productive times, while you still need to get some stuff done, focus that other 20%.
Keeping that in mind,you could use that 20% to schedule important tasks for that 80% high productivity time frame. This would not only help you boost productivity, but it would also mean that you are on your way to completing your tasks even before you kick into high gear.
We hope that our explanation of the 80/20 rule could help you improve certain aspects of your life, and possibly help form a strong efficiency focused mindset. Go on and face the world now grasshopper!