The 80/20 Principle

awareness, focus, productivity, results -

The 80/20 Principle

Many of us waste time.  We waste time overthinking. 

Focus on being productive instead of busy.

Untrained human beings are masters of wasting time.  We are experts at spending time doing things we don’t want to do and thinking about things we don’t want.  There’s a method that can help you eliminate this wasted time.  I’m going to introduce you to Pareto’s Principle which states that 20% of any given thing is responsible for 80% of results.  Once you learn this principle, and begin to apply in your life, you can eliminate much of the clutter keeping you from getting what you want.

To begin, ask yourself these questions:

  • What 20% of sources are creating 80% of my problems and unhappiness?
  • What 20% of sources are resulting in 80% or my desired outcomes and happiness?

From those questions create a to-do list and a not to-do list.  When you’re overwhelmed and stressed, focus on the negatives and the not to do list and begin eliminating.  Dig down and become aware of what is causing issues so you can maximize your happiness and productivity. 

It’s such a basic principle, when you begin to think about it and apply it, you will see just how powerful it is.  In my life, I try to apply this principle often.  When I first became hip to Pareto’s Principle thanks to my guru, Tim Ferriss, I applied it my life and noticed I spend a lot of wasted time on social media and email, constantly hitting refresh.  This use to take up hours and hours of my day.  This was my own crutch.  I, also, spent a lot of time thinking I was being productive but I was only being busy. 

“It’s important to focus on being productive instead of busy”. 

“Think harder, don’t work harder.”

Now that you understand the basics of the principles, ask yourself more questions.

  • If you had 2 hours a day to work, what would you focus on?
  • If you had 2 hours a week what would you focus on?
  • What are the top 3 activities you use to fill time to feel productive? 

These questions will help you eliminate even more.  You’ll soon realize that you were probably spending 80% of your time doing things that are not helping you get where you want to be and instead acting as a distraction.  It’s all about what you do and what you don’t do.


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