The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule), states that 20% of our actions account for 80% of the results.
I heard a few different stories when looking up Pareto’s Principle. One story says that Pareto found that 80% of his healthy pea pods were made from 20% of his plants.
In another article, I heard that Pareto noticed how 80% of the land was owned by 20% of the people.
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This is how the “80/20 rule” came about. Pareto realized that this same ratio applied to several things in life.
The vital few vs. the trivial many
This principle essentially shows that we need to focus on the “vital few” instead of the “trivial many.”
In today’s world it’s so easy to be overwhelmed with information overload. There really is an endless amount of content to consume. If you head over to YouTube to watch the Joe Rogan Experience, you may be a bit overwhelmed when you see multiple interviews well over 2 or 3 hours in length.
One hack I use especially when watching YouTube content from a creator a channel I enjoy is to sort by “most viewed.” This allows you to identify what most people have viewed, as the videos are likely very valuable and have been shared online.
When it comes to picking new books to read, I check Amazon book reviews to make sure it’s going to be worth the time. Time is money, and I’d hate to waste 3 or 5 hours reading a 2 or 3 star rated book.
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Focus on the 20% that truly matters
Make sure to get focused, laser focused, on the 20% that truly matters. We all have huge goal lists or to-do lists. Chances are that many things on those lists don’t really need to be done. Perhaps the smaller things on our list are things we added to distract us from the large, important ones.
Sometimes we don’t want to do what we know we need to do: prospecting, lead generating, cold calling. We know we need to do things to generate business or move the needle. But sometimes we push them off very creatively.
So remember that 20% of what we do accounts for 80% of the results. Be maniacal about that focus… say no to anything that distracts from what is truly important.
“Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.” – Josh billings
Evaluate your goal list, to-do list, or planner. Circle the top few key things that you know you must do. Perhaps even number all of your goals in order of priority, with 1 being most important.
Then start chipping away in order of importance. You can even spend an hour on priority #1, then take a break from that to work on priority #2, then go back to finish #1. Often times, we create mini tasks for ourselves that are not really important to distract us from the hard goals we want to avoid (creative avoidance).
So set your priorities, and start taking action on them today!