Applying the 80-20 rule in daily life

I am sure most of you have heard about the 80-20 rule. It is also known as the Pareto principle. For those who do not know – here is a simple explanation – It basically means that 80% of what you need depends on 20% of what you do.

For instance – 80% of the profits for a company comes from 20% of their customers. So if you make those customers happy you can pretty much get your profits.

A lot of people apply this rule for their business. I make software for an automobile insurance company and 80% of our business comes from California, although we do business in 13 other states. But whenever we have to make changes that involve California – the stakes are high. We pilot out our projects in New York or Virginia first since we do not do much business there. Similarly when we have customer complaints – California takes first precedence.

The Pareto principle can be applied in our daily life too. If you focus clearly you will notice that 80% of our happiness or satisfaction comes from 20% of what we do or 80% of our worries are attributed from 20% of our life. If we focus on removing these 20% negative things and increasing the 20% of the positive things that bring us happiness then we are good to go.

A lot of people worry about their problems and think that their life is hell because of these problems but they fail to realize that it is only 20% of things that is causing you problems – rest of the 80% is still intact. It is not the end of the world.

Here is how you can try changing things in your life based on the 80-20 rule. Ask yourself these questions:

Which 20% of friends motivate you

Which 20% of friends demotivate you?

Which 20% of skills make you more productive

Try and play with the 80 – 20 rule in your life. It’s a remarkably effective way to become more productive, and it helps you to be happier too.

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2 Responses to Applying the 80-20 rule in daily life

  1. kristiewolfe says:

    I really like the friends example, reminds me of the saying “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”

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