The Pareto Principle is known by many names, like the “Law of Imbalance” or the 80/20 rule. The principle can be used for almost anything in our lives. You must be wondering what this so called Law of Imbalance is all about.
The Rule of Pareto can also be used with great success for time management. The principle suggests that 80% of what we achieve is done in just 20% of our time. This means there is a huge imbalance between input (effort) and output (results).
Even more mind blowing is the fact that the Pareto principle states that we can achieve our main goals in one day, 20% of a normal work week. Our work efforts of the other days only add up to a small fraction of what matters. That is quite a statement… but what is true about all of this?
By taking this natural imbalance into account, and applying this principle for time management purposes, you can get really great results in terms of output. You can, and should, spend more time than 20% of your time and effort on your most important tasks. You might instinctively already be beating the Pareto Principle, but with extra effort and attention for this principle you might further improve.
The principle was created (or discovered) by Vilfredo Pareto. This Italian lived in the 19th century and studied wealth distribution in England. He soon discovered that a few families owned a disproportionate amount of the country’s wealth. There was a huge imbalance. He discovered that 20% of the families owned about 80% of all the
Aiming for a day in which every single second is spent on your most important tasks is impossible. Interaction with colleagues and a bit of chit-chat do belong in your day. Simply be aware of the 80/20 rule and use it sensibly to achieve greater results.
Personally I use Toggl to keep track of how I spend my time in the office. I divide my time into a couple of quadrants. The quadrants I use are from Stephen Covey’s approach to time management and they are as following:
I try to spent as much time in the “Important Goals” (Quadrant 2) as possible. By elimination Q3 and Q4 activities, and spending more time on Q2 activities, you can reduce the number of Q1 activities. By planning and working ahead, you can reduce the threat of crises and unpredicted emergencies.
My personal aim is to spend at least 50% – 75% of my time on Quadrant 2 activities, meaning my goals that help me in live, self improvement, general planning and building relationships with others.
Being aware of the 80/20 rule has really changed my life. I have double – in some cases even tripled – my outputs and results. I have less stress at work and more control. I achieve great results at work, without having to work more than 40 hours per week. I have exponentially grown my effectiveness in the office.
This is what I did in order to double my results:
If you are having trouble finding your highest leverage tasks, your 80/20 tasks, then feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I will do my utmost best to help you find your most rewarding input.
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