The 80/20 rule (or Pareto’s Principle) can have an incredible impact on your life. When this you apply this principle, you’ll discover a dramatic increase in your success and happiness.
In this post, I’m going to talk about the 80/20 principle. Specifically I’m going to talk about different ways I’m using it in my life.
What is the 80/20 Principle?
The 80/20 rule is a principle created by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. This is a mathematical formula he used to describe the unequal distribution of wealth. Pareto observed that twenty percent of the people owned eighty percent of the wealth.
While at first Pareto’s principle was used in economics, it’s now been shown to be true in a number of other areas—including personal development.
For instance, it’s commonly known that 80% of your outcomes come from 20% of your efforts. In other words, you only spend a small amount of time on the actions which bring you the best results in life.
How Can the 80/20 Rule Apply to You?
Why is the 80/20 rule important? You use it to simplify your life and help you move towards peak performance.
The idea here is to examine every area of your life and find out what actions/relationships are creating the most success. Then you decide which actions/relationships are holding you back. Once the two are separated, you eliminate the bad and duplicate the good.
This is definitely an oversimplified definition of the 80/20 principle. The thing to remember is to examine your life and remove what’s holding you back from happiness and success.
As an example, this past month I used Pareto’s Principle to examine different aspects of my life.
Here’s what I discovered:
80/20 in My Online Businesses
Information Product– Currently I have 300+ affiliates promoting my information product. Unfortunately only three are bringing in 90% of my sales.
Once I realized this, I decided to stop going after “low-end” affiliates. Instead I created a list of attributes that the ‘big 3’ share and started contacting people who fit this profile.
Web Traffic– There are hundreds of different ways you can drive traffic to a website—and I’ve tried them all.
After analyzing the traffic that comes to my online business, I determined that only two methods were producing real results. Since then, I’ve decided to concentrate on just the two. This has now freed up a lot of the time that I spend on my websites.
Affiliate Marketing Tasks– There are a number of critical, but time consuming tasks I need to do for my affiliate marketing business. So I’ve made the decision to stop being a micro-manager. Instead I’ve outsourced (or systemized) about 95% of my affiliate business. It now runs with very little supervision.
80/20 in My Daily Activities
I’ve come to realize that I have a number of small habits that are complete wastes of time. To improve my life, I’ve decided to eliminate these low value activities.
These habits include watching television, surfing the Internet, playing any video game, and spending time with people who bring zero value in my life.
When I applied the 80/20 rule, I was really shocked at how much time I wasted doing things which did nothing to help me grow as a person. So it was pretty easy to get rid of these activities.
80/20 in My Romantic Relationship
Here’s the part where you might think I’m too clinical with this principle…
Like I said, I’ve done a lot of soul searching this past month. At the end, I realized that 99.9% of my unhappiness was caused by the relationship with my girlfriend.
And after careful deliberation, I’ve decided to end this relationship. To be honest, this was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Especially since I once thought she was “The One.”
Again, I know this sounds a bit clinical (or cold), but I’ve come to realize that this one relationships was a major source of negativity in my life. So while I still love and care for this girl, I’ve learned that we’ll both be happier in the long-term if we moved on.
How Do YOU Use the 80/20 Principle?
Hopefully you got something from the personal examples I gave about the 80/20 rule. I wanted to show that it can be applied in many different areas of your life—Not just in your business.
The benefit of applying the Pareto’s Principle is you can identify peak experiences. These are the activities which bring the most success and fulfillment. Then all you have to do is eliminate the things that are holding you back and concentrate on doing more of the quality activities.
I’ll leave you with a few different questions you can use to examine the different areas in your life:
- What tasks in your job bring the best results?
- Which personal relationships provide the most fulfillment?
- What activities and hobbies make you the happiest?
- Do you have mundane activities that can be delegated or outsourced?
- Are there negative experiences which prevent you from happiness?
Applying the 80/20 principle can have an incredible impact on your professional and personal life. Once you start using it, you’ll discover you can get more out of each and every day.Take Action. Get Results.