“We always have time enough, if we will but use it aright.”
(Wolfgang Von Goethe)
Most people measure productivity by the time spent working, but that’s a bad indicator, because we waste so much time at work. The 80/20 Rule is one of the most helpful of all concepts of time and life management. It is also called the Pareto Principle after its founder, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who first wrote about it in 1895. Pareto noticed that people in his society seemed to divide naturally into what he called the “vital few,” the top 20% in terms of money and influence, and the “trivial many,” the bottom 80%.
This rule says that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results. 20% of your customers will account for 80% of your sales. 20% of your products or services will account for 80% of your profits. 20% of your tasks will account for 80% of the value of what you do, and so on.
This means that if you have a list of ten items to do, two of those items will turn out to be worth as much or more than the other eight items put together.
However, here is an interesting discovery. Each of these tasks may take the same amount of time to accomplish. But one or two of those tasks will contribute five or ten times the value as any of the others.
“Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.”
So instead of focusing on doing as much as you can, as best as you can, just focus on doing the few things that will lead to the biggest progress.
“Resist the temptation to clear up small things first.”