Applying the Pareto Principle Throughout Your Day

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“The world has always belonged to the stronger, and will belong to them for many years to come. Men only respect those who make themselves respected. Whoever becomes a lamb will find a wolf to eat him.”

Vilfredo Pareto

The Pareto Principle

Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian economist and sociologist who is known for using his understanding of mathematics toward economics. He also noted that mathematical concepts did not always apply to humans – as we are often illogical. Pareto observed the relationship between wealth and population, in Italy and abroad. He noticed that, in general, 80% of the land was owned by 20% of the population. Thus, the Pareto Principle – also known as the 80/20 Rule – was born. (Pareto did, however, make it very clear that this was merely an observation and did not apply to every situation perfectly.)

The 80/20 Rule has been used since 1896, when it was first coined. Through the years, it has been utilized when focusing on economy, socialization, business, and even personal lives. The idea is that 80% of outcomes result from 20% of the effort.

How to Use It

The Pareto Principle has an application in all areas of life. Because of this, people can plan accordingly, at least in a general sense:

  • Businesses can focus on the most important aspects of revenue. If 80% of assets come from 20% of the work, then it is important to especially follow through on the areas that produce the most output. Salespeople may be the most value asset that you have – give them proper training. Machines may be the most productive – make sure that mechanics have proper tools and production workers are treated fairly.
  • Keep in mind that 80% of your profits will come from the top 20% of your clients. Cultivate these relationships.
  • Personal time is also affected by the 80/20 Rule. If you are putting all of your intention into tasks that provide little benefit, you are not making the most of your time. Focus on the small yet vital areas that need attention. You will notice a significant increase in your productivity, as well as results.

When you apply the 80/20 Rule, you can make a difference in the way that your time is spent and your efforts are multiplied. Just remember, humans are imperfect. This is more of a guideline than a rule. Don’t ignore the other 80%. Simply focus on how you can better apply endeavors, and the rest will fall into place.

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AJ Jewell

Amber "AJ" Jewell started at in 2016 as a part-time admin assistant, quickly moving to be the 'Duchess of Flow" - making sure that the office is flowing smoothing. AJ is also an award-nominated author, homeschooling parent of three, an avid reader, and a college student.
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