The Triple P…
Of course I’m talking about the The Pareto Principle For Productivity!
The Italian economist Vilfredo Federico Pareto (1848-1913) formulated the idea behind the Pareto Principle named after him, according to which we can obtain 80% of the results in 20% of the time.
He first discovered this relationship between time invested and results in the early 20th century, when he found that in his native country (Italy) 20 percent of families were responsible for 80 percent of the wealth.
From then on, he noticed these findings in multiple ways everywhere he looked, including his garden, where 20% of the pea pods produced 80% of the peas.
He then found that this ratio could be applied on a larger scale in all walks of society and life. When you think about it, you can easily see how this ratio applies:
• 20% of your life is responsible for most of your happiness (80%). This will likely be your close friends and family members.
• Eighty percent of your income probably comes from your job (if not all).
• Eighty percent of the time, you probably wear the same clothes.
• The few same meals (20%) you probably eat most of the time (80%). In practical terms, this might mean you use the same ingredients time and time again and eat similar meals throughout the week.
• Most of the benefits you get from going to the gym (80%) come from only attending a few sessions a week (20%).
Similarly, when it comes to work and productivity, the Pareto Principle means that if you want to make the most of your time, you need to know what the typical 20% of tasks are in your life that are critical…
…and contribute approximately to the 80% to the total success of your work. To do this, you need to think about your typical day and the tasks that are “high yielding”.
The ones that you know produce most of the results that contribute to your “productivity”. These should not be “busy tasks” such as email ping pong back and forth, answering calls and browsing on the internet.
Examples might include:
• Big projects which have been paid for in advance
• Planning or strategic content for sales
• Writing reports and books
For your productivity management, this means you need to prioritize those activities or task consistently because you know this contributes to most of your results.
It’s worth noting that everyone’s 80:20 will be different; it’s not a set-in-stone ratio because it evolved initially from merely observing the surroundings…
…and therefore establishing the exact ratio is always going to be challenging.
For some, it could be 95:5 or 75:15. Nevertheless, the concept behind it shouldn’t be disregarded as it is evident that the “weight” in which the ratio swings rings true in almost everything.
For this reason, the Pareto principle has coined the name the 80:20 rule.
To make the 80:20 rule work for you, you must be able to assess your productivity and level of performance during the day.
Identify the important areas, and you’ll quickly see what’s not important.
When you do, then you’ll be able to apply the principle to fit the context of your life and reap 80 percent success or so for adopting a 20 percent time investment.
Sadly now, that is all the time we have for today. In our next email I want to talk with you about another really cool technique that I think you are going to find extremely helpful and instantly actionable.
See you then!
Dominus Owen Markham