The Vital Few And The Trivial Many (The 80/20 Rule)
Focus Your Forces On The Vital Few
80% of your results will come from 20% of your actions.
80% of your strength gains will come from 20% of your exercises.
80% of your profits will come from 20% of your businesses.
And using the same logic…
80% of your frustrations, shortcomings and worries stem from 20% of your problems.
That’s Pareto’s Law, baby.
The quality management pioneer, Dr. Juran summarises this 80-20 rule as the ‘vital few and the trivial many’.
What can we take away from this theory?
80% of what you’re doing is a waste of time.
Laser focus on the 20% of your actions that’re getting you results.
This is about working smarter, not harder.
Let someone else fumble around with the 80% and get no-where. Be smart and expend your time and energy, two precious and diminishing resources on the 20% that matters.
You Need To Make A Not To-Do List
Jim Collins, the author of the fantastic book ‘Good to Great’ presented the idea of the not to-do list.
Before reading this book I thought that this concept was a joke… but once you understand the importance and relevance of the 80-20 rule in your life you’ll soon see why it’s important to preserve your time and energy to avoid wasting it on the 80%.
The 80%, also referred to as the trivial many will form your not to-do list.
Depending on where you’re currently at in life your not to-do list may contain different things.
If you’re struggling to find time to start or build momentum on your new business or venture then entertain will most likely be on your not to-do list…
Gossiping, buying endless amounts of rubbish online, binge watching TV shows, making to-do lists you never follow… these are all within the 80% of tasks you’re currently performing that’re getting you nowhere. You’re throwing time and energy at them and receiving zilch in return. nada.
If you’re running a successful business you should still be implementing a not to-do list, however you’ll have different items on it than the up and comer.
Is cleaning your office, responding to basic customer service emails and preparing all of your own meals part of the 20% of actions that’re getting you 80% of your results?
If not, outsource them.
Frugality is often taken to the nth degree, resulting in inefficiency.
Looking at this from a business standpoint, if you’re able to spend a few dollars, and as a result focus further on the 20% that matters you’ll come out far, far ahead.
Take Inventory, Then Take Action
The 80/20 rule is universal, it applies to everything and everyone.
Take inventory on your life and on your day – where are you results coming from, which particular actions?
Where’s the 80% in your life?
Find it and add it to your no to-do list. Cut it completely or outsource it if necessary.
It was only recently that I applied the 80-20 to this blog.
I spent an eternity behind the scenes trying to tweak, alter and optimize every little minor detail of the graphics, layout and theme… but this wasn’t enhancing any results or goals I was chasing.
The 20% is writing.
Now I laser focus on writing, as 80% of my results come from releasing new content – the 20% that is me putting pen to paper and publishing new articles.