The Pareto Rule, or oftentimes the 80/20 Rule, may not ring a bell. Especially if you are not an expert in 20th century economics. But, masters of time management have been following the findings of the Pareto Rule since its conception.
In the early 20th century, an economist by the name of Vilfredo Pareto wanted to come up with a mathematical explanation to explain income inequality. Pareto realized that wealth was not distributed evenly. He noticed that about 20% of the people had about 80% of the wealth.
Pareto’s rule is about inequality. Not everything in life is going to be distributed evenly. Oftentimes, 20% of a group can be responsible for 80%. An example is that 20% of a classroom of toddlers is responsible for 80% of the mess. It can also have a positive connotation – 20% of the class is responsible for 80% of the cleanliness.
The Pareto Rule has become incredibly popular within business. Businesses have utilized the Pareto Rule to make decisions on hiring and compensation, among other things.
So, the Pareto Rule was created by an economist. And, we know that businesses use it. But, how does this rule about the uneven distribution of things help someone that wants to become more efficient?
By remembering the Pareto Rule, you are able to prioritize much easier. When you see that 20% of a task is responsible for 80% of the end goal, you are much more likely to focus more on that 20% and make sure it’s done correctly. The Pareto Rule is a great way to help people prioritize.
One way to look at it would be that in any given task, 80% of it is trivial while the other 20% is vital. There are some incredibly important parts to any given task while the bulk of it can just be winged through. By understanding this distribution, we can then be sure to focus on what is actually important and going to yield the most results.
The Pareto Rule is a great way to prioritize and a great reminder that not everything is as important as everything else. It is a wonderful reminder about how unevenly results can come about. The Pareto Rule is a integral part of time management. Once you have acknowledged that not everything is going to yield equal results, you can work on focusing on the most important tasks and fine tune your time management skills.
Obviously, if we were able to get everything down to that 20% that is vital, the Pareto Rule wouldn’t mean anything. It’s an impossible goal, but by recognizing its importance and value, you can prioritize and focus on that 20% that truly does matter.
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