What Is The 80-20 Rule And How To Use It

What Is The Pareto Principle And How To Use It

What Is The Pareto Principle

The Pareto principle, or the law of the vital few, or the 80-20 rule was the work of an Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto observed in Italy in 1906 that 80 percent of the land owned by 20 percent of the population. Later on, Pareto observed the same 80/20 proportion applies to many other aspects of life. This observation gave us the Pareto effect or Pareto law which has been known universally. Simply stated, the Pareto principle is – a large proportion of results come from a small proportion of works or causes (a vital few).

Why You Need To Know the 80-20 Rule

You need to know the 80-20 rule to use your time and efforts more intelligently and efficiently to become more productive. If you can track the 20 percent products or works that bring you the most (80 percent) results, you can emphasise on these 20 percent and cut down the other 80 percent unproductive, time wasting tasks you do. Knowing your productive 20 percent and unproductive 80 percent will put you on the edge and you will be better equipped to handle your entrepreneurial journey than anyone else.

Some 80-20 Suggestions

Here are some common scenarios where you can apply 80-20. These are just some example to show you. Find out your own situations where you can apply the Pareto principle and prosper.

– 80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your products. Find out these 20
percent and improve them to get more sales.

– 80 percent of your work is being done by 20 percent of your employees. Take good
care of these few employees and decide what to do with the rest.

– 80 percent of your errors come from 20 percent of causes. Fix these 20 percent
causes first.

– 80 percent of the things you do daily or monthly, only 20 percent are really
important. Do these important 20 percent with utmost care.

– 80 percent of your results (or income) comes from 20 percent of your works. Do
these 20 more often to get better results.

– 80 percent of the time you use (wear) 20 percent of your stuffs (clothes). Eliminate
the other 80 percent you never use and live clutter free and less stressful life.

– 80 percent of your failures are coming from 20 percent of your wrongdoings. Eliminate
these 20 percent and succeed more often.

– 80 percent of your health problems are coming from 20 percent of your unhealthy
habits. Cut these 20 percent bad habits and live a healthy life.

Well, I can go on and on with this list forever. But these should be good enough to give you an idea. Find your own situations to apply Pareto rule and prosper.

Some Interesting A Dawn Journal Facts In Light Of The Pareto Principle

Here are a few interesting A Dawn Journal facts:

– 80 percent of visitors are coming from 20 percent countries

– 80 percent of traffic is coming from 20 percent articles

– 80 percent ad revenues are coming from 20 percent keywords

Final Word

I do believe in Pareto principle, but I don’t believe the 80-20 matrix is always constant. I think it fluctuates and disperses from the exact 80-20; however, it stays very close to, or within plus or minus 80-20 range. For example, it makes sense to assume that lots of times 80-20 proportion will actually be 70-30, 65-35, or even 85-15.

Productivity and Feeling Happy

Feeling Good Increases Productivity

 Feeling good has lot to do with how productive we are. When you feel good and happy, your energy level gets a boost and increases productivity. Difficult tasks seem less difficult and endless problems resolve faster than you thought it would take initially. Our body releases several hormones when we feel good, such as Oxytocin and Serotonin, and we feel calm, cheerful, and in control – helping us to concentrate better with an increased level of productivity.

However, due to stress, day-to-day distractions, and various other factors, it may not always be possible to feel good and happy. I will go over some simple things you can do to overcome the negatives that prohibit you from feeling good and being happy.

Empty Your Mind - It’s hard to feel good with a clogged mind. A tangled and overloaded mind can’t make you happy. Here is more on How to empty your mind

- Confidence is one of the most important things you will need to be happy. When you are confident, you can face and tackle any challenges – and that’s when you become happy. Accept your weakness and learn how to become confident.

Better Yourself - Your learning journey and efforts to make yourself better should never stop. Changing yourself to a better person is not easy. But once you start the journey, you will be self contained and filled with joy and happiness.

Embrace Simplicity - Find happiness in simple things, live with less, and help others. You don’t need money to live a rich life. A rich life is living with minimal possessions and helping those who are in need. The good feeling you will get from doing so is something that money will not be able to buy.

Feeling good depends on various factors and most of these factors can be learned and practised. As you learn and start practising these factors, you will notice your positivity and good feeling will go up, along with your productivity.

How to Make Decisions

Steps to Make Decisions

We make decisions from the moment we wake up till we go to bed on a daily basis. Some of the decisions we make intuitively and some of the decisions we make by giving it a lot of thinking and consideration. Decisions have a huge impact on our lives. Some of the decisions we take can make the difference between being alive and dead within seconds (such as while driving) and some of the decisions can impact our life immensely after 10-20 years (such as investing in the right type of assets or getting married to the right person). Who we are today is based on the result of the decisions we made in the past. Who we will become tomorrow or in the future will be the result of the decisions we make now and in the future. It is important throughout our lives to make the correct decisions to increase our success rate of living a better life.

Decisions can be roughly categorized in two classes, regardless what sorts of decisions they are: Calculated decisions and non-calculated decisions. Let’s take talk about these two a little bit.

Non-Calculated Decisions – Emotional decisions, intuitive decisions, decisions based on past experience, and so on are all examples of non-calculated decisions. Most of the decisions we take daily are non-calculated decisions and we don’t think or spend much time on these types of decisions. Although non-calculated decisions seem to be not that important and we are in habit to decide on it fast, making the wrong non-calculated decision can ruin our life, just like calculated decisions.

Calculated Decisions – These are the decisions that are systematic, analytical, logical, and calculative. We take a long approach and do a lot of research and follow a step-by-step procedure to come to a conclusion. Most of the life’s big decisions fall into this class. Some examples are: Who should I marry? Should I quit my current job to accept another offer? Where should I retire? Should I be an entrepreneur or a 9-5 employee for life?

Now, is there any way to make a better decision? While there may not be a single, foolproof approach to make better decisions, here are some steps to consider in making good decisions.

1. Identify your decision or the purpose of the decision

2. Identify your objectives or what you are expecting from the outcome of this decision.

3. List all the possible outcomes that can happen due to this decision.

4. See yourself to the extent of each of these outcomes. Look at all the pros and cons that will come due to this decision.  Imagine yourself living with one or several of the outcomes that will happen due to your decision. You can add your past experience, knowledge, intuition, calculation, analysis, etc. to seeing yourself how things will be, how comfortable and happy you will be, and how better it will be for your future because of this decision.

5. Make the decision that you like best in number 4.

Sometimes decision making can be really tough regardless of how much thinking you put into it. Research has shown that it is incorrect to think that calculated decisions are always better than instant, snap decisions. There will be times in your life when you will need to make decisions beyond logic and calculation – based on your instincts or emotion. This is just fine. We humans are emotionally driven quite often and following logic or calculation will not simply make sense during those times. If you need to make a decision, whether it’s a calculated or an emotional one, make a solid decision, regardless of whether it makes sense to others or not. Stick to your concrete decision to the end – and if it happens to be a wrong decision, have no regrets. Just learn from it and move towards the future.

Why Multitasking Does Not Work

What Is Multitasking? 

Multitasking is the process of doing multiple things or tasks at the same time. Multitasking can be made of tasks that require only mental work, physical work, or a combination of the both. An example of multitasking is driving and talking on the cell phone at the same time.

Why Multitasking Does Not Work 

Numerous research shows that we humans are not capable of multitasking. What seems like multitasking is actually our brain switching from one task to another. Those who think they are good at multitasking are actually good at switching from one task to another, as our brain cannot process tasks simultaneously. It is good at switching between tasks quickly, however. So the whole concept of multitasking is a human delusion, as our brain is very good at deluding itself.

Why Multitasking is Bad 

Multitasking can cause stress, as much as 40 percent drop in productivity, and 10 percent drop in IQ, as a Harvard Business Review post points out. Also, multitasking while driving causes 20 to 30 percent crashes annually in America. Tasks involving multitasking can cause 50 percent more errors and take 50 percent longer to finish, research shows.

But How It Is Possible to Perform Some Tasks Simultaneously? 

If multitasking is bad and our brain can’t multitask, how come we do some of these tasks together? For example, talking on the phone and watching TV, cooking several items together, reading and listening music, writing and watching TV, and so on? The answer – these are not actually multitasking; we don’t need our brain to fully concentrate and pay attention to perform these tasks. If you really want to test if you can multitask or not, try writing an article and taking notes from a lecture at the same time, or pay your bill online and instruct your kid how to play a game at the same time.

Last Word 

We do not multitask, but we switch from task to task. Be more productive and efficient by concentrating on one task at a time. Do fewer things, but do it better. Make life simple and less stressful – don’t multitask.

The Continuous Depletion of Time Account

Do Not Waste Your Most Valuable Resource – Time. The One-Shot Supply of This Mostly Precious Asset Should Not Be Taken As Granted 

When we were born, we all started with one-time supply of our time on earth. If you consider your first day on earth as Day 1 and assume you will live up to 100 years of age, here is what you have:

100 years X 365 days = 36500 days X 24 Hours = 876,000 hours.

These numbers are the same for everyone. Whether we are old or young, black or white, religious or atheist, the world’s richest person or the world’s poorest person, all of us have the same amount of time to waste and to utilize. Time is neutral, does not discriminate, and does not treat anyone unfairly.  

The moment you were born, you started depleting your time account. Although some of us may live longer than others, but we can’t stretch time beyond our mortality. Think of time as your bank account where you have 876,000 units (or more or less depending on how long you live) deposited for you only once. There is no way you will be able to deposit more units or manipulate your account to inflate your units.

Yet, most of us take this most valuable and precious resource for granted and keep wasting it till the day when we have nothing left in our time bank account. The difference between a successful person and failed person in every aspect of time is the results of how successfully or poorly each utilized their time.

Let me give you some examples of how poorly we waste our time which can never be deposited back into our time account. These examples are hilarious and sad at the same time, as we failed to value our most precious resource, “Time”, which can never be recovered.

- Driving hours to save $10 
- Standing in long lines and wasting hours to get free stuff 
- Sleeping away the whole afternoon 
- Buying and then returning something many times and spending endless hours doing so 
- Spending hours watching useless TV channels like talk shows and reality shows 
- Spending unproductive hours online on sites like Facebook, YouTube, etc.

These examples can go on and on. But you should have an idea already how people are endlessly wasting time without realising what they are doing.

Stop the leakage of your most valuable asset – your time. Consider every moment of your time is precious and understand that it will never be regained. Utilize each unit of time properly and in productive ways. Lifetime success and happiness will be upon you if you can successfully manage and use each and every unit. Time is what makes the difference between a winner and a loser. Don’t wait for that moment to regret when you will have only the last remaining units in your time account.