I was hearing about the 80/20 rule form early days, but never focused on finding what it was. And then Prateek told me to read “Eat that frog” By Brian Tracy, where I actually read 80/20 rule for the first time, and now I am trying to apply this rule in my life.
The 80/20 rule is one of the most helpful concepts of time and life management. It’s also called “Pareto Principle”, after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who first wrote about it in 1895. He divided society into to parts, one called the “vital few”,the top 20%, and the other, the “trivial many”, the bottom 80%. This principle says that 20% of our activities will account for 80% of our results. This means that if you have a list of 10 things to do, two of those items will turn out to be worth five or ten times or more than the other eight items put together.
Number of Tasks versus Importance of Tasks
Lets take the previous example, where you have 10 tasks to do. There will be one task that you have to do which can be worth more than all the other 9 tasks put together. That task is invariably the first task you should do. But sad fact is that most people procrastinate on top 10 to 20% of tasks, that is, the “vital few”, and make themselves busy is least important 80% tasks, that is, the “trivial many”.
Focus on Activities, Not Accomplishments
Most of the people focus on Accomplishments, forgetting to focus on the importance of task. When we have a list of task to do, we try to achieve as many as possible accomplishments. We try to do the small, least important work (bottom 80%) just to increase the count of work we have done. We should strictly refuse to work on tasks in the bottom 80% while we still have tasks in the top 20% left to be done.
So before you begin work, always ask yourself, “Is this task in the top 20% of my activities or in the bottom 80%?”
Rule: Resist the temptation to clear up small things first.
The idea behind success is motivating yourself. The fact that is that the amount of time required to complete an important job is often same as the time required to do an unimportant job. But the difference is that we get a tremendous feeling of pride and satisfaction from completion of something valuable and significant. However, completion of low-value job provide little or no satisfaction at all.
Conclusion (To do for you)
- Make a list off all the key goals you want to achieve. Divide then into top 10 or 20% and bottom 80%.
- Start doing the most important job first, here is the rule, “If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first”. Also remember the second rule of frog eating: “If you have to eat a live frog at all, it doesn’t pay to sit and look at it for long time”. So prioritize your work and start taking action, don’t just sit and procrastinate.
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