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80 20 Rule Limited Number of Tasks Produce Significant Results

Learning how to prioritize your tasks.

80 20 rule is one of the most helpful concepts for time management and task management, especially when you are trying to become more productive. One of the most helpful time management principles I’ve ever come across is the 80 20 rule.

In fact, the Pareto principle, which this concept is based on, states that for many outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of the cause. This means you can often achieve a much higher level of productivity by focusing on just a few priorities rather than spreading yourself too thin.

Understanding how this rule works in your life can help you get more done in less time and with less effort through prioritisation and delegation techniques. Read on to learn more about the importance of this effective principle, how it can make you more productive and how to use it to get what you want out of life.

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What is the 80 20 Rule?

The 80/20 rule is a statistical technique in decision-making used to select a limited number of tasks that produce a significant overall effect.

The 80 20 rule, states that for many outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of the cause. This is a problem solving and a useful decision-making tool that can help guide you decide on the best course of action.

The concept is named after the founder Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto (1848–1923), who developed a theoretical model of resource allocation in economics in which he identified that 80% of Italy's land was owned by about 20% of its population. He found similar results in almost any situation regarding all economic and wealth distribution activity were subject to this principle.

What is the 80/20 rule called?

The 80 20 rule is also known as the Pareto principle, Pareto Analysis, Pareto Chart or the law of maldistribution and has many applications in business. This concept can be applied to almost any situation in which there is an unequal relationship between many variables that are interdependent.

How to apply the 80/20 rule?

If you're looking for new ways to increase productivity, ways to tackle your to-do list or manage business more effectively.

There are some activities in life that will lead to a disproportionate number of results. In other words, they can provide you with 80% of your desired outcome with just 20% of your time. What’s more, by focusing on these activities, you can avoid wasting time on areas that don’t generate many benefits. For example, say you want to be a better presenter at work—how could you get 80% of that outcome in 20% of your time?

Why Does the 80/20 Rule Work?

The 80/20 rule is one of life’s most useful concepts. If you’ve ever taken an introductory statistics class, then you’ve probably seen an example similar to 80% of all emails are spam. Or 80% of income comes from 20% of customers. Or 80% of your profits are generated by 20% of your inventory.

If you’re like most people, these numbers seem mind-bogglingly strange; but even within our own jobs, we see examples play out in real life every day—whether it’s knowing which clients or partners make up 80% of our business or whether it’s recognizing what percentage projects consume 80% of our time at work. This distribution is incredibly common and yet most people ignore its existence completely.

80 20 Rule Example

While you may find yourself questioning how things can be so mathematically precise, a little critical thinking will show that it’s not uncommon.

It states that in many situations, roughly 80% of the consequences come from 20% of the causes. For example, 20% of your customers will make up 80% of your profits or 20% of your activities at work will produce 80% of your output.

Here at Checkify, we love checklists and todo lists, the 80 20 rule concept would suggest that if you have ten items on your to do list. Only two, out of ten items will be worth more than the eight other items.

What is the 80/20 rule in problem solving?

80/20 is a rule that states that 80% of your desired outcomes are due to 20% of your efforts. You can use it to figure out which activities produce value, which ones don’t, and when you should change what you do in order to get better results.

Tracking your day-to-day tasks through a to do list app, by doing so, you will see exactly where 80% of your time goes. Once you identify tasks, then find track results, try experimenting with variations until you find something that works for you.

A decision-making tool to select the right tasks that produce the best results.

Still have questions?
We’ve got answers.
What is Task Management?

It is the process of handling the complete life-cycle of a task or series of tasks. Offering a more effective way to manage your workday, tasks and workflow.

It starts at the planning stage and covers tracking right through to execution. Task management allows you to track different tasks, right from the very beginning.

Read More: What is Task Management? How to Manage Tasks Effectively

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