How to apply the 20/80 rule to increase personal productivity
The Significance of Eighty Twenty Rule in Your Life:
Maybe you are familiar with this 80/20 Rule which is also called the Pareto Principle. This rule was originally developed by Wilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist. According to him, 80% of the wealth is owned by 20% population while the remaining 20% is owned by the 80% population. This rule does not only apply in economics but also in all aspects of our life. So, here are the twenty different ways to increase personal productivity.
Prioritize Daily Tasks
This is about the activities or the tasks that you are doing in your daily job. Identify all those tasks and categorize them by jotting them down in a table. Then in your table, add two more columns. One for the time spent for each task and another one for the relevance of tasks according to your productivity. Therefore you will know which task to eliminate and which task to focus on.
Daily Use of Time
This is about how you spend your entire day or night according to your different activities either from work or from home and in many other places. So, make a record of all your time on how you are spending it in every second, minute and hour. You can jot it down in a small notebook for you to specifically identify all your activities. Then identify which activity that you are most productive for you to be cautious next time.
So how about the books that you were reading recently? Maybe there were plenty of them like dozens of them. Can you rate them according to their values? You can give them a percentage if they are useful or just entertaining. Then you can weigh which are worthy to read the next time around. You can also make your research for the trending books which are worthy to read to save your time.
This is about the social aspect of your life. This is about your friends, family, relatives and to your other love ones. Identify how much amount of time and energy you have spent for them? Then try to estimate the amount of stress and happiness that they have made for you. So, why not compare the two? If you consume a lot of time but gaining a lot of stress and problems only; then it’s time to make a change.
Your Internet Subscriptions (RSS Feed)
Take a look to your feed list and identify the number of articles that you truly enjoyed reading. Then try to examine it according to quality for you to successfully eliminate those articles which don’t a mean lot to you.
Try to categorize the different types of emails that you are replying most of the time. Then rate them according to their usefulness, frequency and subject. And try to make a system, a template, or anything that automates your response for those mails. So, you don’t need to personally respond from time to time. Thus, you can save more time. Look at our In-Depth approach to managing e-mails article by Linda to learn more.
Just like with your RSS feeds you need to check which subscriptions are of high value. So, try to evaluate one by one and make your rating. Then why not cancel those subscriptions which are the least valuable.
Manage your Eating Habits
Record all the foods that you are eating weekly and identify the number of calories that they have. Just like in my case, I was surprised how I consumed foods which are very high in calories yet they don’t have any nutritional value. So, think about this. Are the foods that you are eating the most are giving you a healthy diet?
Perhaps you love watching shows on T.V. so why not try to review which T.V. programs that you like the most. Maybe you can base your evaluation in a two or 1 week span of time according hours spent in each show. After that, total the entire amount of hours that are used and you’ll know which programs are not that worthy to you. Then you can cancel some subscription services to channels or shows which are not watched. Sometimes, it is also money wise to record shows which are only relevant so you can watch them in your vacant time.
Nowadays most people are so addicted surfing the net for different purposes and for sure you are one of them. So try to make a record all the sites that you are visiting. Then try to identify which sites that you are visiting the most. And analyze which sites are important to you according to how useful they are in your life.
Cleaning for Spring Season
Spring season might be for a short time but you can take advantage to it by spending it for your cleaning and organizational activities. So, take a look to all the things inside your room or the entire house and try to gather all the unused items to put them in the trash can. You can do this even your house has a lot of space because trash are meant for the trash can; not for your room. By doing this, you can easily find the things that you truly need the most.
Clients or Customers
This is according to Tim Ferriss, in his Four Hour Workweek. Accordingly, try to categorize your customers by labeling them on what kind of customers are they. Are they the people who complain the most; the customers that give you the least revenue in your business; and the most people who are causing troubles? So why not give them a particular rule that will guide their behavior? And if some of them are not that willing to follow; then just fire them up. Though it is said that customers are always right; but your time is not worthy to people like them. This may apply to clients too.
Computer Hard drive
So it’s about files when talking about hard drives. So, to apply the 80/20 rule, why not scan your files and evaluate each of them. Organize them according to the ones which are often used and to those which are rarely used. Then put those unused files in one folder. Then do the same for those which are used the most. Thus you can eliminate the clutter in your computer at the same time easier and faster for you to find things.
Just like with your hard drive, it needs some cleaning too. For me, I clean it weekly by deleting some things which are of no use. Sometimes, you can also move the others documents which are not used for two weeks. So, try it and you’ll see that your life will have a better focus and direction.
This is about uninstalling all those rarely used applications in your computer. If it’s hard on your part or too time consuming, you can reformat your computer for a faster and for a better result. Thus, you can get rid of those trashes in your computer.
Appliances at Home
Now take a look around your home and find which appliances are not working or not working properly. These things are giving your headaches and stress only. So, why not try to dispose them and replace new ones which are better working. Thus, you’ll have a better peace of mind when you’re at home.
Aside from the basic commodities that you are buying, try to calculate the other things that you are spending. These can be anything that you want to buy. Then try to make a list of these by having an equivalent amount of each item. After that, try to weigh the value of the money spent compare to the usefulness of the item brings. So with this, you will know which items are worthy to buy. Actually, even for entertainment items, you can rate the level of pleasure that each item brings to you. So you can choose the most entertaining one. And for your investments, you can also compare the return rates of all your investments. Thus, you can focus investing to those with high interest rates only.
Writing for a Blog
This is about categorizing your blog posts according to the article length, image used, subject, format, style and many others. Then multiply each article to the amount of time that you’ve spent while writing. After that, trace the traffic that each post brings and now you can compare notes. Thus, you’ll have a better judgment what type of post are worthy of your time based on the traffic it brings.
Enumerate all your habits or behaviors and analyze which ones are making a huge significance in your life. Thus, you will know which habit to forget and which habit to try doing. We wrote a good guide on how to create productive and healthy habits.
Now think about your goals. You can have them written on just printed in your mind. Now try to specify those goals with the corresponding resources needed for them to be fulfilled. On the other hand, try to identify the benefits that each goal will give you. And you will know which goal to prioritize because of their high value.
If you want to dive deeper into this topic we would recommend The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less, its a solid read that has helped me personally eliminate much clutter in my personal and professional life.
Please share this article if you found it helpful and let us know what you think? Do you have other unique ideas in which you can apply this 80/20 Rule?