The magic of 20 over 80.15, Dec, 2015, by Seema Bhatnagar
Our common logic says, the more tasks we do it is better. But looking closely, this does not hold true in all situations of life. On giving a deeper thought it would come to light that usually it is the lesser percentage of all actions that we perform on daily basis accounts for larger percentage of effectiveness in life.
Here are few observations from an interesting analysis conducted to understand the effectiveness of results in different domains of life:-
- 80% of profits comes from 20% of investment.
- 80% of sales comes from 20% of customers.
- 80% of sales comes from 20% of products.
- 80% of warmth comes from 20% of relationships.
- 80% of team’s output comes from 20% of team members.
- 80% of happiness comes from 20% of decisions.
- 80% effectiveness comes by responding to 20% most important emails.
Taking it to a one level up, 80% of world's wealth is owned by 20% of countries/individuals.
Aren’t you amazed by the power of 20%, how it is silently touching the depth of every domain?
Do you know? - it is only because of those effective 20% decisions that you took in life, today you are able to experience a happy state of mind. Probably, a good and happy marriage, a successful career, wealth or whatever you are enjoying right now, it has been possible because of that 20% most effective decisions of your life.
Fundamentally, 20 percent governs the 80 percent of the output. This is also called Pareto’s Law or 20-80 rule. In words of Pareto, an Italian economist, who stated that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
Knowing its effectiveness, 80-20 rule could also be the success formula for an accelerated personal growth.
How to implement in life?
Won’t it be great if we somehow identify that powerful 20% chunk in the first go itself rather than juggling through the rest? Numerically, 20% looks an easy and achievable figure but reaching to this is an arduous journey in itself. Identifying this most effective chunk takes lot of efforts and demands persistence and determination in all aspects of life. Most of the activities that we perform daily are on auto-pilot because of which we fail to pay attention to what is that which is delivering effectiveness.
In order to implement this 80-20 rule with a willingness to take your personal growth one notch up following are some steps which you may try.
#1 - Choose your relationships.
As we all stay in a sea of relationships, be it given by birth or consciously chosen over the period of time, it is quite normal to experience certain amount of friction in our relationships. Not necessary that all relationships are blessed with love and happiness, there could be few which may develop bitterness with time. Unfortunately, if you have certain relationship which is draining your energy and not letting you to be overall effective in life, then it is high time that you should take charge of it and see what possible action can be taken about it. If it means, taking it to a painful end, so be it. It might feel a bit uncomfortable to think initially but if it can promise you a happy state of mind and can promise a more conducive environment for everybody involved then probably this is the best solution.
It is not a selfish act rather it is more meaningful to focus on those relationships which can help everybody around to evolve and can promise to bring more effectiveness and amiability in environment.
#2 - Chose your friendships.
The same is applicable to friendships, you might have friendships which are sucking your energy but not helping you to grow. There are certain friends who want your full attention to kill their own time but in effect it is neither helpful to them nor to you. Just comb through your existing friendships and see how many friendships are helping you to grow and how many of them are just namesake and eating up your time and energy significantly.
No, it is not about being mean and “what is in for me?” type, it is all about making self more effective in personal life. You are going to cut off your contact with those suboptimal friendships so that you can spend more time with people who are more sensitive about your tastes, choices, time and life.
#3 - Pick the most effective task first.
At work also, you can be more effective if you know what is that task which can set the right tone for the day – it could be as tiny as answering a critical email, sending a reminder to team or attending a meeting which can promise the closure of some important decisions. Pick such tasks on high priority. To learn how to be more effective at time management skill, read this post, Beat the clock.
#4 - Identify the most effective hours.
Your day might be full of tasks and activities but there are certain hours when you feel extra productive. Such pockets of time actually feeds 20% chunk of effectiveness. Look out for such pockets of time and make most of it.
Most people remain ignorant of these pockets and just get carried away by the rush of activities throughout the day.
#5 - Opt for the most effective food.
Oily and spicy foods are heavy on digestive system and hence make you more lethargic. Opt for those food items which can really provide you good nutrition along with feeling of satisfaction. Don’t forget, food plays an important role in keeping you active and effective throughout the day, so choose the most effective food items in your daily diet.
Simplification of life.
80-20 rule is fundamentally about simplification of life. Practising it can absolutely transform your life. Simplification is to pursue and focus on the most effective actions. Once you understand the meaning and power of effectiveness, you would naturally feel inclined to pursue the simplification process in all endeavours.
Practising this 80-20 rule would greatly benefit you in following ways:
#1 - Enhanced productivity.
You can do more in less time as you can choose the most effective tasks to deliver powerful results.
#2 - Decluttered life.
With an idea of focusing your energies on the effectiveness, you will get rid of unnecessary or unconsciously developed clutter in life.It is like - you are carrying least possible baggage on your journey of personal growth.
#3 - More focused.
By remaining focused, you can pay more attention to activities which will empower you to handle day-to-day activities more effectively.
#4 - Improved quality of life.
A good quality of life means spending time on activities which are making you a more balanced, evolved and joyful individual. Simplifying your life means enjoying a more powerful and happy life.
If you feel, this 80-20 rule doesn’t hold true in your life, perhaps you are not paying required attention to your life because it is something which happens for each one of us. Only by handling it more consciously it will give you more power and confidence. Once you learn this skill, you can handle more challenges and responsibilities because whatever you are pursuing in life you would always have an eye for effectiveness.