Dale Carnegie said, “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.” That’s the Pareto Principle in action.
The idea behind the Pareto Principle is that 80% of your results come from 20% of what you do.
For example, the top 20% of your businesses’ producers are responsible for 80% of your company’s results. The same goes for you. 20% of your actions are responsible for 80% of your results. You can use this concept in every area of your life.
How to Use the 80/20 Rule to Produce Peak Performance:
1. Stop focusing on the 80% of your options that provide 20% of your results.
We humans don’t like to make the hard choices. Instead, we prefer to focus our energy on doing the easy things. The problem is the 80% comfortable actions don’t provide extraordinary results. Peak performance choices are not usually easy or comfortable.
• For example, usually lets say you spend 80% of your time in one-on-one meetings with everyone and 20% of your time in group meetings. Instead, spend 20% of your time in group meeting with everyone and 80% of your face to face time talking those people who make the 80% of the difference in your business and life.
2. Start focusing on the 80% of the things in life that bring your joy and happiness.
It follows that 80% of your happiness comes from 20% of the actions you take. Find the things that bring you joy and happiness and spend 80% of your time doing them. On the other hand, 80% of the negatives in your life comes from 20% of the things and people in your life. What would be the worse thing that could happen if you just dumped them?
3. Use the Pareto Principle as a time management tool.
When you focus 80% of your actions on the things that make the biggest difference, your productivity goes up and your become more time efficient.
• An easy way to go about this is to write down all the actions you take in every area of your life. Now prioritize and highlight the top 20%. Focus on these activities daily because they will make the biggest difference.
4. Use the 80/20 rule to develop criteria for your life.
Using the 80/20 rule as a source for your criteria will supply you with the type of information you need to make your decisions. This can make a huge change in your life. By understanding who and what makes you happy and successful you can focus energy on them. You’ll also know who and what to avoid.
“Which 20% of my activities lead to 80% of my personal enjoyment?”
“Which 20% of my activities cause 80% of my headaches?”
“Which 20% of the people I know do I enjoy being with the most?”
“Which 20% of the people I know cause me the most distress?”
“What 20% of my activities account for 80% of my success?”
“Which 20% of my beliefs are the most empowering?”
Putting the Pareto Principle to Work
Let’s imagine that you’re an executive who wants to apply the Pareto Principle.
20% of your partners (employees) do 80% of the work. Find out who they are and reward them appropriately.
20% of your partners cause 80% of the problems. Find a way to identify and remove them from your business.
20% of your clients provide 80% of your profits. Treat them as the special part of your business that they are.
20% of your actions are responsible for attracting 80% of your customers. Repeat these actions over and over again.
Remember, 20% of the actions you take provide 80% of your value to the enterprise. Identify those actions and focus on that 20%.
You can use the Pareto principle in any part of your life that you wish to change. It’s help you accomplish a lot more with a lot less effort. By paying attention to the 80/20 rule you’ll be spending your time the activities that will give you the biggest bang for your bucks.
About the author:
Wil Dieck is a writer, speaker, researcher, college professor and master martial arts instructor. He studies and teaches people from all walks of life how to use simple psychological techniques to develop high performance habits.
Wil’s most recent works includes the highly ranked Amazon Kindle book, Secrets of the Black Belt Mindset, Turing Simple Habits into Extraordinary Success and Modern Mindfulness, A Beginners Guide on How to Find Peace and Happiness in a Busy World.
In addition to his work as a researcher, writer, and speaker, Wil is a professor of psychology and business at San Diego University of Integrated Studies.
Wil runs a peak performance coaching practice in San Diego, California. Additionally, he regularly works with people who are suffering from stress and anxiety using meditation, hypnotherapy and NLP.