The 80/20 Rule is the Secret to All of your Problems


pareto-principle300In case you haven’t heard of the 80/20 Rule, or the Pareto Principle, it’s a commonly-accepted theory in business management. It states that 80% of results come from 20% of your efforts. The idea is based on the work of Vilfredo Pareto, an 18th-century mathematician who observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population and that nature tended to reflect this distribution: 20% of the plants in his garden were producing 80% of the produce.

The 80/20 Rule and the way of thinking it prescribes could help you in managing your own life: most people are not actually disturbed by all of the things affecting their lives. We usually choose the things which trouble us the most. 20% of our problems cause us 80% of our stress. If you can identify the 20% and resolve them, you’ve achieved a lot without wasting much time.

For business theory, many employers adopt 80/20 Rule thinking, realizing that 20% of an individual’s work will create 80% of his or her profit and, likewise, 20% of a company’s staff will create 80% of its success. On the flipside, 20% of a company’s employees can cause 80% of staff-related problems.

The lesson to be learned is that you don’t need to drastically reinvent your entire life in order to see a change and improvement – just find the 20%.