The 80/20 Rule, know as the Pareto Principle named after Vifredo Pareto who first published an paper at Lausanne University on the subject way back in 1896 when he illustrated that 80% of all the land in his home country of Italy was actually owned by just 20% of the total population. His 80:20 theory became widely used across a multitudinal field of studies, especially in management, such as to identify your best 20 per cent of assists in your business and put the to use these to achieve 80 per cent of your outcome value. Or to concentrate on the top 20 percent of your key customers to bring in 80 per cent of your income.
The principle has also been attributed to hold true in the area of business productivity research and has become one of the most helpful of all concepts of time management.
What the 80:20 Time Rule concept really means is that, in any business situation, 20 percent of the time inputs or activities are responsible for 80 percent of the outcomes or results.
This is very important for managing your own and your staff’s productivity time because learning to recognise and then focus on that 20 percent which makes the most impact, is the key to making the most effective use of your time when analysing and evaluating your range of goals, targets, efforts and outcomes to maximise your results.
That’s because it really is a priceless business tool when applied to people tasks and responsibilities for achieving your business goals, strategies and targets as it provides a useful analytical framework for applying to systems and many time problem situations.
In other words, you should asses and evaluate your workload as to whether or not the majority of your time is spent on your business goals and specific targets, or alternately, if it is spent chasing small value activities such as administrative work all of which can be easily and inexpensively delegated or outsourced to someone else …rather than take up your valuable and costly time.
The diagram below is credited to Dr. Jon Warner, September 27, 2013 In Personal Effectiveness And Responsibility and is a great 80:20 visual tool to show productivity and time…
And so that you avoid this time problem constantly ask yourself:
What do I really want to do with my working time when engaged in activities that advance the overall business purpose, goals and targets?
So, start using the 80:20 solution to figure out what 20 percent of your work you should really now be focusing to become more productive and enjoy your work. And continually ask yourself this question:
“Is this task that I’m currently doing in the top 20% of my productive business activities, or is it in the bottom 80%?”