“80% of the Worlds wealth is held by 20% of the population”
“80% of your sales will come from 20% of your customers”
“80% of your complaints will come from 20% of your clients”
The Pareto Principle, more commonly known as the 80/20 rule, states that in many systems and processes 80% of the results come from 20% of the inputs. It is a general guideline and tool that, although is far from scientific proof, has been shown to hold true across a vast number of situations and is taught to business and management students across the world.
It is a system that is used to help pave the path of projects, build up business cases and steer the direction of large multinational companies day in, day out.
Although it is most commonly used in the professional environment, that doesn’t mean that we can’t bring it forward into our own day to day life. It is something that I have come to realise is true for nearly everything that we do and can be used to keep motivation and progress at an all time high.
If we take fat loss as an example, people usually go “gun hoe” and pull out all the stops to achieve their goals. A full new diet and eating plan, trying to go Palleo, gluten-free and intermittent fast all at the same time. They’re excited and eager for results and attacking it in this manor is understandable. Most likely, they are unhappy with how they look and they want to get past this as quick as possible.
The downside of this is that its hard to maintain. It requires a lot of will power, change and is incredibly difficult to keep going for long periods of time.
In my experience however, I’ve found that the 80/20 rule works perfectly for this and 20% of your dietary changes will lead to 80% of your fat loss results. Making small changes to what and how you eat it in bite sized (Pun intended) chunks over time will see the fat fall off. Just cut down on your snacking, try eat more realistic portions and reduce your processed food consumption and you’ll probably find that your results will come with a lot less effort then you expected, even without all that other stuff you “Have” to be doing to make progress.
Sure it might not get you all the way, but it will get you MOST of the way, which is exactly what the Pareto principle is all about. In fact, making it harder then it needs to be is usually worse because you’ll probably not even make it to 80% before falling off the wagon and reverting back to old ways.
The 80/20 rule can be applied to a host of other areas too. Strength training, skill learning and even your work too. Since I implemented it into my day-to-day life, I’ve found that when I have goals to hit I end up being much more focused and get through the bulk of them a lot faster.
The one argument that I have heard against the 80/20 rule is that you can become a jack off all trades and a master of none. I however don’t agree with this at all because the only thing that this method of work does is help get the project up and running as fast as possible. We all know that it is always recommended to do the easy things before the hard ones to help build up momentum. The Pareto principle just ensures that we do this with everything and get started with as much momentum as possible. If anything, it makes us a master of getting things done, a skill I’d take in a heartbeat!
Take a look at the things you do on a day-to-day basis and try to start implementing the 80/20 rule. Be that in work with your daily tasks, some chores that need to be done at home or even a new goal that you want to achieve. The quick progress you make will not only boost your confidence and show you its achievable, but also give you the momentum to power through that last 20%.