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How the Pareto Principle can help you increase your productivity

Reading time 6 minutes
How the Pareto Principle can help you increase your productivity

The Pareto Principle comes from the field of time management. It was developed by the Italian engineer, sociologist and economist Vilfredo Pareto. Put simply, it says that with 20 % of the possible effort, about 80 % of the desired result can be achieved. For this reason, the Pareto principle is also known as the 80-20 rule.

The application of this principle can lead you to more Productivity help. This is a great advantage, especially in professional life. In the following article, we explain how you can profitably apply the 80-20 rule.

What is the Pareto Principle?

The Pareto principle relates effort and result. Imagine you are pursuing a certain goal: If you apply the Pareto method correctly, you can achieve 80 % of the result with 20 % of the effort. In the field of project management, this significantly reduces complexity. The Pareto principle helps you to limit your focus to the essential factors.

Although the 80:20 ratio can't be applied exactly to all projects, it's a good idea to use it as a guideline. With the help of the 80-20 rule, you learn to prioritize the tasks that will bring you closest to the desired result. To illustrate this, we have summarized some examples from everyday life for you:

  • 80 percent of all Internet traffic occurs on only 20 percent of existing websites.
  • There are businesses where 20 % of salespeople generate 80 % of sales.
  • If prioritized correctly, you can complete 80 % of a project with 20 % of possible labor.
what is pareto principle

How do you live the Pareto Principle? 5 tips for applying it in your everyday life

The correct application of the Pareto principle is basically of great advantage. The emphasis here is on correct. It is not uncommon for the principle to be misunderstood. A common mistake, for example, is to confuse effort with output. Furthermore, the 80-20 rule by no means means means that the less productive tasks can be completely neglected.

In order for you to benefit maximally from the application of the Pareto Principle, we have summarized 5 tips for the implementation in your everyday life for you.

1. reach goals faster

Let's assume you want to lose 20 kilograms. Of course, you could spend weeks on various diet and sports concepts. However, it would be much more effective to simply start. Surely you are aware of your worst nutritional mistakes.

While you have already started to use less and Eat healthierIn parallel, you gradually research all the information that will support you on your way. So you save Time and achieve results faster. Research is not infrequently misused as an excuse to delay the start of a task that is perceived as unpleasant a little longer.

2. use time better

Imagine you are supposed to train a new employee, but you still have to complete an important assignment by lunch time. The task now is to use the available time efficient to use to create both.

So you don't have to explain every detail of the coffee machine to your new colleague, but limit yourself to showing him everything he specifically needs that day to perform his own tasks. For this, he usually only needs 20 % of all the information you could have given him about his workplace.

3. make projects more successful

To not only complete projects faster, but also to make them more successful, the Pareto principle is best suited. For each project, first create a priority list, which you then work through in order. Once you have worked out the outline, which is possible with about 20 % of all available resources, it is time for the finishing touches. This is where the remaining 80 % come into play.

For a presentation, for example, it is important to first gather the core content. Then you can work on the graphic design and other details.

4. use money more effectively

Are you one of those people who spend hours leafing through brochures to find bargains? Do you perhaps even visit different stores for this reason? In principle, there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of savings offers. However, watch how much time you spend and how much you actually save. The ratio of effort and benefit is always decisive!

To save 50 cents on detergent, a longer drive to the nearest discount store is not really worth it. The time it costs you could have been used more efficiently to work and earn money.

The Pareto principle can also support you in larger dimensions, such as stock trades. Instead of investing many hours in the selection of stocks, the choice of a low-cost ETF world portfolio is often the better alternative. The principle also applies to larger purchases. Always ask yourself which investment will get you closer to your desired goal the fastest.

5. lead and motivate team more effectively

Managers benefit especially from the application of the Pareto Principle. In order to successfully lead a team and improve its Motivation constant, it is important to focus on the essential issues. Who is Executive If a company gets bogged down in dealing with trivial matters, it quickly has to contend with the displeasure of the workforce.

Let's assume there is an internal conflict in your department. In order to find a quick solution, it is important to shed light on the 20 % of causes that have specifically led to the current dispute.

There are certainly other issues that play a role. However, bringing them all to the surface one by one would not contribute to a quick resolution of the conflict, which is your primary goal. As soon as the acute conflict has calmed down, other topics can be discussed in peace.

Why you should know the Pareto Principle: 5 advantages

The Pareto Principle offers a variety of advantages that can extend to every area of life. Let's briefly summarize the 5 most important arguments that speak for the application of the method once again:

1. the Pareto principle increases your daily productivity

By learning to achieve about 80 % of the desired result with only 20 % of the possible effort, you can successfully complete more tasks overall in a workday. This is beneficial for your career as well as your personal goals.

2. the Pareto principle helps you to set priorities

For the 80:20 split to work in practice, you need to learn, Set priorities. After a while, you will gain an eye for which aspects are really important and which are not. This way you can work faster and more productively in the long run.

3. the Pareto principle helps you to divide your work sensibly

If you see a big mountain of work in front of you, it's not uncommon to lose track of it all. However, if you apply the Pareto principle, you will find it easy to divide a large task into several sub-steps. This will also help you achieve small successes more quickly, which will have a positive effect on your motivation.

4. the Pareto principle improves your time management

Are you one of those people who always get caught up in unintentional side issues at work and thus simply can't make any progress? The Pareto principle effectively trains your time management. You learn to achieve the best possible result despite a limited time window.

5. the Pareto Principle helps you to focus

Focusing on the essentials is an essential part of the Pareto Principle. To focus also means to transform wishes into concrete goals and to implement them consistently. You know exactly what you want and which steps are necessary to achieve it. This can take you a long way, especially in your professional career.

Pareto Principle: The Turbo Booster for Your Goals

The Pareto Principle can help you to be more productive and successful in many areas of life. Especially for managers this method is of great advantage. If you apply the Pareto Principle correctly, you can actually achieve about 80 % of the desired result with only 20 % of the possible work input. However, in order for this to work in practice, there are some principles that need to be followed.

Above all, it is important to set priorities. Ideally, you write yourself a list of priorities, which you work through one after the other. By writing it down, you can internalize the Pareto principle even better and sharpen your focus.

Also, be aware that prioritization does not mean that you can completely neglect the other aspects. This is one of the most common pitfalls of the Pareto principle.

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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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