“Strive for excellence in few things, rather than good performance in many.”― Richard Koch, The 80/20 Principle
In today’s hectic world, most of us find ourselves overwhelmed with complexity, trying to tackle super long to-do lists each day. It can be exhausting to juggle multiple projects like a clown at a circus. And that’s why it is more important than ever to figure out what is truly essential and simply focus on that.
The most effective way to do that is to understand the simple yet extremely powerful 80/20 Principle. This universal balance between effort and reward can help you to spend your time at work more efficiently. It can help you accomplish more, not by doing more, but by doing less.
We are all well familiar with the concept of time management. Its chief aim is to help you achieve more in a limited span of time, and it definitely works — you can increase your productivity by nearly 15-20%. However, there’s a caveat with this approach. Time management primarily involves increasing efficiency by fitting more tasks into a given period of time, but this is where things start to derail. Most people are clueless about which of their tasks are the most important, and due to this they end up defining around 60-70% of their to-do list as “high-priority” items. As a result, despite their good intentions, they get sucked in the vortex of crazy hours and jam-packed schedules at work. By this point, I hope you realize that adding more tasks into an already-full calendar is not good thinking. It leads to nothing but overwork and in a few cases severe burnout.
It’s much better to choose the alternative approach — 80/20 time management. This strategy helps you to first identify the 20 percent of your tasks that produce 80 percent of the desired outcomes, and then single-mindedly focus on them. When you employ this kind of “time revolution,” you’ll find yourself achieving greater success than before, but without any extra effort. It’ll empower you to optimize your performance, increase your income, and maximize the impact of your work, while ensuring you have more free time in your hand.
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