Using the 80/20 Rule to Achieve Success

Many years after his death, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto continues to influence Business leaders, politicians, and decision makers World over through his Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule.

For starters, Pareto law states that 80% of the results in whatever you do in life is triggered by just 20% of your efforts.

Based on the concept of less being more, the principle reminds us that typically, the relationship between effort and fruit is not balanced.

The rule has been used to great effect by entrepreneurs, managers, and ambitious employees to achieve more in less since I can recall .

How the Rule Was Derived

Pareto first noticed that 20% of the pea plants in his farm produced 80% of all his good pea pods.

This realization piqued his curiosity and drove him towards more research.

Broadening his horizons, he soon noted that 80% of  Italy’s total wealth was in the hands of a mere 20% of its population.

In industries, the budding economist discovered that 80% of the country’s industrial output was from 20% of the Italian industries.

Hence the generalization: 20% of the tasks you do will yield 80% of your good fruits.

How to use 80/20 Rule to Succeed

It’s clear then that sometimes less could be more. Indeed, tons of people have also applied this law to propel their plans and achieve distinguished success.

80 20 rule examples

Not only that:

You can use the Pareto principles to streamline all spheres of your life and to become more productive. Here are some 80 20 rule examples.

  • Using 80/20 Rule to improve your health

A healthy lifestyle is a sum total of your various personal choices. Losing weight, becoming physically fit, or getting stable emotionally doesn’t have a quick formula.

rather, it is the culmination of your deliberate decisions and actions over time .

The Pareto law is all about doing things in moderation. True, you can have that sumptuous dessert. But only twenty times out of a hundred.

Yes, you can lazy around and ignore exercise. But only for 20% of the scheduled days.

Although achieving perfection could be asking for too much, you should generally ensure that 80% of your choices are healthy.

  • Using Pareto Rule to build more wealth

The 80/20 rule may  also help you save (even for old age), improve your credit score, clear your credit card advances, and loans and eventually build long-term wealth.

For instance, 80% of your money troubles are prompted by 20% of your household expenses.

The mortgage payment is essential in owning a home as are the school fees, utilities, and quite a number of recurring expenses. However, it’s an open secret that the principal reason why may not be saving is the impulsive non-essential purchases.

The bad 20% could be in the form of takeaway meals, personal entertainment stuff like alcohol, random cloth buying, and unplanned vacations.

Saved monthly, the 20% could grow to be a reasonable retirement fund within a few years.

  • Using 80/20 Rule To Nurture Meaningful Relationships

To cultivate beneficial relationships, 80 percent of the time you spend with significant others, friends, and family should be in helping (giving) with only 20 percent (or lower) being used in “asking”.

Simply put, to improve the quality of your friendships, use 80% of your socializing time laughing, sharing, and supporting colleagues, friends, and relatives in need.

On the same note, you should only ask for favors whenever absolutely necessary and again, not more than 20 percent of the time.

Also, if you analyze your friends’ list, you may realize that 80% of friendly assistance comes from just 20% of your pals.

And so it makes a lot of sense to concentrate on the 20% and to ignore the passive 80%.

pareto 80 20 rule time management


  • Using the Pareto Law to Climb the career ladder

Self-made billionaires, top CEOs, A grade students, and champion sportsmen know that success will never come by taking on any task, ideas, suggestion, or opportunities that emerge along the way.

Instead, they filter the noise and narrow down on what’s value adding and vital.

This is where their energies go. The  rest?  They will either delegate or press the pass button.

Similarly, by being strategic and calculating, 20% of your efforts at work may yield 80% of the outcomes you require to rise up the ranks in your corporate career.

  • Applying The 80/20 Law to Generate More Time

When using the concept of Pareto 80 20 rule time management to manage your timetable, you should eye maximizing the 20% of the tasks that generate powerful results in your personal, work, or business life.

Start by analyzing the activities you spend more time on and cut out activities with insignificant consequences (80%) also called the ‘timewasters’.

That way, you will complete the planned duties in your to-do list ahead of time and generate spare time to sleep, pursue hobbies, and to spend with loved ones.

Also be careful when drawing up your daily to-do list  and prioritize more urgent and tasks with a higher return.

Goal setting

Goal setting also helps create extra time and to improve your overall productivity.

Here is how you can include the 80/20 rule when setting goals:

  • write down your top ten goals underlining the 2 (20%) biggest positive impact goals.
  • In action, start with the task you consider hardest. Often, the most beneficial tasks happen to be the most complex.
  • Always work towards your one main goal.  Even the rich set and zealously pursue one major goal all their life.

80/20 rule

  Tips to help achieve success

  1. Self-discipline

Self-discipline is king.  Make it a habit, your way of life, practice it, and let it be your guiding philosophy.

All high achievers are super disciplined and manage their appetite and conduct.

This leads to consistency, dedication, and perseverance until the usually successful  end.

  1. Continuous learning

Highly successful people are ardent readers.

Indeed, research has indicated that , on average, a modern CEO reads about 60 books annually.

Success demands that you keep learning new things continuously.

Ongoing learning ensures that your brain isn’t rusty, improves your focus, and self-esteem.

The new knowledge helps you remain on top of your field.

  1. Rid Your Mind Of Negative Thoughts.

Thoughts influence your actions and affect your outlook towards life and work. You should therefore carefully select what you will be believing in.

You will, of course, have lots of emotionally suffocating feelings (fears, doubts etc) and some positive thoughts (excitement, experimenting with new things, hope etc).

If you hope to grow, pick the feelings that inspire you to keep pushing.

Related: 7 Mistakes to avoid as an entrepreneur

Final Thoughts

The 80/20 rule can help you succeed in many of your endeavors.

Whether creating wealth, seeking useful relationships, improving business, working to improve your health or career, the Pareto rule can be magical.

And as we have seen, provided you have the discipline and have set clear goals, the law of less is more could be the catalyst you need to step up.

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