The Pareto Principle, or “80/20 Rule”, is a common term in the business and achievement worlds. Simply stated, 20% of efforts typically account for 80% of results. For example:
20% of our product line accounts for 80% of sales. Think Coke Classic and Diet Coke compared against Coke’s myriad flavor spinoffs.
20% of our focused work time accounts for 80% of our output. In fact, some studies estimate the typical American office worker only does about 2-4 hours of effectual work per day.
20% of customers account for 80% of repeat sales. Diehard Apple fans anyone?
You get the idea. This principle can also be applied to practically any personal pursuit we choose. But an even more effective use of the principle comes when we 80/20 the 80/20.
If 20% of efforts account for 80% of results, then hypothetically 4% (20% of 20%) of efforts account for 64% (80% of 80%) of results. Taken one step further, 1% (technically 0.8%, which is 20% of 4%) should yield 51% (80% of 64%) of results.
Think about that. One percent of our effort equaling half of our results. The possibilities are boundless. Maybe your “1%” is going for a 30-minute walk every day. Simple task, huge returns to your health. If you’re an aspiring novelist, writing 250 words per day — about the length of this article — yields a 90,000 word book every year.
For some of us, eliminating an unproductive activity can be just as effective, if not more, as adding a productive one. You know what your’s is, don’t you?
Wherever you’re at, wherever you’re headed, identify (and execute) your single most effective action and watch your life begin to take off. And if you really want to see your results explode exponentially, try compounding a few “one things” together.