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  • Writer's pictureAthena Peña

The 80/20 Rule Already Affects All Areas Of Your Life

Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principle? If not, maybe you've heard, "The 80/20 Rule," mentioned in business.

The famed philosopher/economist, Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto, was born in Italy in 1848. The story goes that one day he noticed 20% of his pea plants produced 80% of the healthy pea pods. He wondered what caused this extreme variant in the ratio of production. He wondered if this applied in other areas of life. He soon realized 80% of products typically came from 20% of the companies producing. He thought about the wealthy and realized 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.

Here was born Pareto's Principle. The observation that most things in life are not distributed evenly. Such as:

  • 20% of sales reps generate 80% of total sales

  • 20% of workers produce 80% of the result

  • 20% of customers account for 80% of total profits

  • 20% of the most reported software bugs cause 80% of software crashes

  • 20% of patients account for 80% of healthcare spending

  • 20% of the features create 80% of the usage


20% of your efforts will produce 80% of your profit, so YOU do the 20% that produces income and hire someone else to do the other 80% for you.

Think of this in how it relates to your personal life:

  • You have a closet full of clothes, and how often do you wear more than 20% of them?

  • Your house is 4000 square feet, and I bet you don't spend your time is much more than 800-1000 of it

  • On your phone, you have 6324 apps, and only use how many each day?

I could go on... but I think we all understand the point here.

I am really learning this concept, and that I need to delegate the 80% of non-income producing work to those that can do it best, and I need to always be doing the 20% that I know is income producing. How can this change your day to day work efforts?


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