When you are doing something with extreme passion, dedication, and commitment, your expectation for achieving remarkable results gets higher. And why not?

But the reality is, our 80% of outputs, results, and consequences come from 20% of inputs, efforts and causes.

This is what Richard Koch, a British author who has written several books on management, talks about in his book “The 80/20 Principle.”

He specifically sheds light on how a person can achieve more results with much less effort by following the 80/20 principle.

So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at what the 80/20 principle really is.

The 80/20 Principle

The 80/20 Principle says that the majority of your results come from a minority of your causes. It was first discovered by Economist Vilfredo Pareto in 1897 and became popular after WWII.

The ratio might not be exactly 80:20, but the core idea is – there is always a non-linear relationship between efforts and results.

When we talk about society, 20% of people own 80% of the wealth. Similarly, in the corporate world, 20% of our products/services contribute 80% of our revenues. And when it comes to home, 20% of the clothes are worn 80% of the time.

So, how to Apply the 80/20 Principle?

The 80/20 Principle clearly suggests that there is a massive inefficiency around us, but there is also an incredible potential to take our current results to the next level.

Let’s take a look at some of the tips on how to use the 80/20 Principle.

Identify Your Top 20% vs Bottom 80%

This can be done by taking a more analytical approach:

80/20 Analysis:

Create a hypothesis about an 80/20 relationship and test it by collecting and comparing 2 sets of data.

80/20 Thinking:

Think deeply about an important question, develop your 80/20 hypothesis intuitively, and then take actions to apply it.

Reallocate Your Time/Resources in Two Ways

Reallocate resources to the 20%, which can be done easily by moving your time and resources away from the 80%. The math is simple, invest your energy where it is working well.

Think about the rest of the 80%. Why is it under-performing? Address the issues and come up with a more effective plan.

Points to Remember When Applying the 80/20 Principle

  • Don’t try to master everything. Be selective and only work hard on areas that matter the most.
  • Move your resources from low-value to high-value uses.
  • Think deeply to understand why you are getting good or bad results in certain areas.
  • When it comes to success, there is no such thing as luck. Therefore, whether things are going well or against the plan, look for the hidden causes or reasons.

That’s it.

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