Why are you wasting your time? The 80/20 Rule

Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist, created a formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country. Pareto observed that 20% of the people owned eighty percent of the wealth, the “vital few,” and the “trivial many,” the bottom 80% who owned twenty percent of the wealth. 

This formula was later titled the Pareto effect after Vilfredo Pareto. Below are some examples of the 80/20 rule that occur in my life:

  • 80% of my income is generated by 20% of my clients [as shown to the right]
  • 80% of my good health is thanks to scheduling 20% of my time exercising/eating healthy.
  • 80% of content that I share is limited to 20% of the influencers that I pay attention to
  • 20% of my Instagram followers engage in my content (likes, comments, etc.)
  • 20% of my ideas generate 80% of my traffic on my blog.
  • I have 87 apps in my phone but I use the same 12 most frequently (which is only 13.7%, not even 20%)
 A snapshot of previous external contracts. 80% of most of my freelance income came from 2 sources.

A snapshot of previous external contracts. 80% of most of my freelance income came from 2 sources.

How can you apply the 80/20 rule to your life?

Asses your situation.

Look at your finances, where do you get 80% of income?
Look at your calendar, which activities help generate that 80% income?

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Examples of how I'm reclaiming my time:

  • I recently recorded some interviews with artists for an article with Inspirit Foundation & This is Worldtown. I decided I didn't want to transcribe an interview so I outsourced it. Shoutout to GoTranscript! I sacrificed some money to pay someone else to do the work and got it back one day later. If I did that myself, it would've taken me 2-3 days between all of my other work.
  • My health has been exceptionally better ever since I've maintained a healthier diet and consistent exercise. My outer appearance hasn't changed, but inside I feel great! The only changes to my schedule was an adjustment of 4-10 hours per week of exercise.
  • I spend a large chunk of my monthly income on a few things: rent, transportation, and groceries.
  • For my daily to-do list, once I finish the HARDEST/MOST TEDIOUS item on the to-do list, I am happy as a clam! I feel like my day was successful because I buckled down and did what was the most uncomfortable - the rest of the action items are a breeze.
  • Looking at who I spend time with, about 20% of my contacts, colleagues, and peers. The other 80%, I see virtually or not at all. Of the folks who I spend the most time with, I find a lot of joy hanging out with them and working alongside them.

How do you intend on leveraging the 80/20 rule?

Related Article: My Most Productive Day Ever in 3 Easy Steps