Pareto’s Law: greater results, less effort!

So I’m looking over my weekly goals and tasks, having read up on ‘Pareto’s Law’, introduced to me via Tim Ferris’s ‘4-Hour Work Week.’

What’s this? It’s the rule stating that often, 80% of the effects are a result from just 20% of the causes.

In sales, this looks like 80% of your income resulting from 20% of your client-base, which basically means that you’re much better off dropping all of that ‘busy’ work and focusing in on only what’s really valuable/profitable.

I’ve found it really useful to look at my current ‘to do’ list and streamline/make cuts/ask ‘what I was thinking?!’ In fact, one particular task had been on my list forever… causing mucho anxiety because I just hadn’t had the time to tackle it – when actually having looked at this today, I feel like it’s completely the wrong approach (based on what hasn’t worked in the past rather than what has.) So I’ve adapted it, scheduled it and feel a whole lot more positive about it! 


I feel like there’s a place for this rule in all areas of our lives, personal and professional!

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, get fit or trying to learn Spanish… it can be incredibly useful to ask the following questions:

What are the 20% of things that I’m doing (the things that are really working) that are resulting in 80% of what I’m getting?

How can I narrow my focus towards doing more of that 20%?

How can I streamline or cut out the activities that make up the 80%?

Are you intent on buying a new gym kit rather than going to the gym? Or going on a crash diet rather than food-prepping healthy, balanced meals? Even trying to learn Spanish via movies with subtitles, rather than actually doing your homework? Which of these approaches has worked in the past?

Beware. It’s all too easy to mistake movement for action; to get caught up in doing things that deplete your energy, and make you feel productive, without offering any real reward or progress.

Ask yourself this question and you’ll avoid being a ‘busy fool.’

You’ll actually get somewhere from all that racing about.


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