How to Save 2 Hours Every Day using Pareto’s 80-20 Law

    May 22, 2003

Vilfredo Pareto worked as an economist in 19th Century Italy. We can still use his theories in today’s 21st Century Internet economy !

His 80-20 law applies to many things, including Time Management. For example, his law says that 20% of your customers provide 80% of your revenue. It says 20% of your time spent on a project gets it 80% towards completion. 80% of people working in the computer business only do about 20% of the work, and the other 80% is done by the 20% star workers !

So how does this law apply to time management ? How can you use it to save 2 hours every day ?

Think about any jobs you must do. Think about any projects you’re working on or about to start. We all want to do the best possible job. But how about this ? How would you like to get three jobs done in the same time as one ? How would you like to finish one job a lot quicker, and spend the extra time with friends or family ?

Pareto’s law can help you do exactly that !

First of all look at the ‘big picture’ of your project. What are you trying to achieve and why ? What main benefits do you want ? Make a simple schedule of work. Get started and work as quickly as possible. It could be a report on a new market. It could be a new product specification. Maybe you’ve got to write a simple piece of software ?

When you’ve done all you can, stop and take a look. It’s good isn’t it ? Now leave it there. Yes, I said leave it there. You’ve achieved about 80% of your target. Yet you’ve only spent about 20% of the time you’d eventually give to that piece of work ! What would you normally do ? More research. Try to add in more bits. Endlessly fine- tune it. Perhaps you’d start again because you decide it’s no good ?

Leave it at 80% and start with something else productive. Follow the same procedure with the next task, and then the next task.

If you use Pareto’s law your productivity will go through the roof ! Your results will amaze your colleagues and yourself ! Suddenly people will start saying, “How does he get so much done ? How does she work so efficiently ? I don’t understand how he’s getting these great results, when I saw him in the park playing with his children yesterday!”

Pareto’s law works. Start using it today, and see your productivity soar !

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