The Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule) | How To Use 80/20 For Results

Why the 80/20 Principle Will Change Your Life

Preto Formula

Could applying the Pareto Principle actually make 80% of your work disappear? Would having an 80/20 mindset truly help you to stay focused?

Meaning that you will spend less time chasing after endless new opportunities….

If you want to know how the Pareto Principle can change your life….

Read on…

The Pareto Definition (80/20 Rule) is…
Most things in life are not distributed evenly.

For example:

  • 20% of our efforts create 80% of our revenue
  • 20% of our staff do 80% of the work
  • 20% of the customers and clients generate 80% of our revenue
  • 20% of our customers and clients cause 80% of our headaches

And so on…

But stop right there…

You must be careful using this principle…

The common misunderstanding is that the numbers 80 and 20 must equal 100 – they do not!

It is a guideline, not a pre-requisite; 20% of your staff could be responsible for 60% or 90% or even 99% of your results.

Stop Preto Formula

Pareto Principle 80/20 rule is a guideline not a prerequisite about typical distributions.

If you recognise that “80” and “20” don’t have to be exact, the critical point is – most things in life are not distributed evenly – some perform better than others.

A History Lesson of The 80/20 Rule (Pareto Principle)

In the 19th century, an Italian economist called Vilfredo Pareto wrote a mathematical model for income distribution. He recognised that people in society naturally seemed to divide into what he called the vital few, the 20% at the top in terms of property, money and influence and the trivial many (bottom 80%).

He continued his research and discovered that virtually all economic activity was subject to the same rules and principles. During this period in Italy, 80% of the wealth of the country was controlled by 20% of the population.

In fact, according to Pareto, it was actually concentrated in a highly predictable way. Understanding and applying these principles will not just bring you wealth beyond your wildest dreams but give you a fulfilled enlightened, healthy life.

We should be thanking Joseph M. Juran for bringing us the 80/20 rule as it was Joseph’s research for his book Quality Control Handbook where he labelled the 80/20 concept, the Pareto Principle. Whereas another might have called it the

 Julian Principal!


Thanks, Julian…

History lesson almost over, enjoying it so far?…

Think about it… We can take Pareto’s 80/20 rule and apply it to almost any situation-it’s as real as gravity! Bizarrely, most people fail to see the seriousness of it. This is not just a theory, its one of the most important, if not most significant productivity, health, wealth and relationship truth’s, ever discovered.

The Applications of Pareto 80/20 Rule

We can apply it to goal-setting, productivity, time management, work, relationships, well, just about anything you can think off. According to this principle, 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results.

Think about it…

Still thinking….

If you have a list of 10 goals or tasks to accomplish, two of these items will account for more than the other eight, all put together.

The sad fact is, the masses procrastinate about their top 10 list. They do not focus on the 20% of items that are the most valuable, the most important, the vital few that account for their success.

Instead, they busy themselves with the least significant 80%, the trivial tasks that do nothing for success, turning them into busy fools.

Know anyone like this?

The Uses of Pareto 80/20 Rule

Want to improve your productivity? Looking to achieve your goals or just to improve your results… here’s how to efficiently apply the 80/20 rule.

  1. Grab pen and paper, now write down your top 10 tasks or goals. Ask yourself this question, “If you can only achieve just one of these tasks or goals on your list today within the next 24 hours, which one would have the biggest positive impact on your business and life.”

I asked this question to my clients all over the world, “What right now is your most important goal in life?” – You need to know this if you want to be successful. Then choose your second most important task or goal. isn't faster to navigate!

Now you have your number one goals, go ahead and ask the question again, “If you could only accomplish one MORE of the goals on your list today, within the next 24 hours, which ADDITIONAL tasks or goals would have the biggest positive impact on your life.”

What you’ll find is that after you have completed the above exercise, you will have identified your most important 20% tasks or goals. Its these that will bring about the success and increased productivity that you most desire.

  1. Work all the time at the goals you have chosen and nothing else. I’m sure you have seen people who look super busy all day long, but never seem to accomplish anything.
Square Wheel Car

This is almost always because…

They are busy working on the bottom 80% tasks, which have little to no value, while procrastinating about the top 20%, the one or two activities that would make a real difference to their goals and productivity.

Let’s face it we are all guilty of putting off those difficult tasks. Even as far back as the 1800’s Mark Twain knew it:

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

Mark Twain

The most valuable tasks, yep, you got it,….the top 20%, are often the most complex and challenging to complete, (especially if it involves frogs!)

If you stick with it, however, the payoff’s and the rewards you get for completing them can be priceless. They can be life-changing.

Before you tackle any of the tasks, ask yourself this question, “Are these tasks in the top 20% of your activities or are they in your bottom 80%?”

Stamford rules…

Rule 1:

 Resist, Resist, & Resist Again That Temptation To Do All Those Small Clear Up Tasks First! 

Rule 2:

 Do What is Important Not What is Urgent.

Falling into the trap is easy…

…get involved in the little stuff, the little stuff multiplies, leaving the little, or no value stuff, growing and growing out of control. This is a disaster if this happens, you’ll accomplish nothing.

Use the Pareto Principle (80/20) for time management, and only do what is essential…

The Pareto Principle 80/20- Habits you will develop if you’re not careful – the trivial many, the bottom 80%.

Don’t fall into this trap… If you start your day, every day working on low-value tasks, you’ll soon develop the habit of the trivial many (bottom 80%).  Don’t fall into this trap it will cost you big.

I see people all the time with their massive to-do lists, always starting and working on low-value tasks. You’ll be like a dog chasing its tail, hamster on a wheel- you get the gist- never makes any progress.

What you can learn from the Rich

Rich people v Poor people’s attitudes when setting and establishing goals?

  • 87% of wealthy people
  • Poor people, on the other hand, a poor 3%, only, have a big goal – and they don’t work on it very often.

Do you want to be successful?  Then make sure you follow these rules… Successful people pick and focus ONLY on one big goal. They live and breathe it until it’s completed.

Do this, and it will change your life –


Think about this


When you establish crystal clear goals, you come up with the perfect strategies and answers to achieve them – at the exact right time.

So, what can we learn about the Pareto Principle 80/20 from the 4 habits of successful people?

Now we have covered the 80/20 rule, what can we learn from the habits of successful people, and how can we can emulate them?

Visualise, and think about yourself as you would really like to be, not as you are today – your ideal self! 

I want to tell you about a trait that all rich people have in common and how you can learn it. The real secret of success is to find what your calling and passions are and


Positive Thinking

Idea EG

Why is it that some people are incredibly positive, have positive thinking patterns, yet others don’t? Is there a secret, self-concept for success?

Successful people from around the world have been interviewed, and the one common question is, “What is it that you think, what is on your mind most of the time?”

Their answers are surprisingly simple, but always consistent, no matter where in the world they live. Their answers are profound, they can be life-changing, as they were for me…

In short, rich people ALWAYS think positively.

They are thinking about what they want, and the quickest, simplest ways to achieve it, the 20% rule. By learning the four habits of wealthy people, you too can become very successful and perhaps faster than you could imagine.

The wealthiest people have what is called a very high self-concept.


High Self-Concept

Star rating

Your self-concept is the operating system of your mind’s  subconscious. It is the master programme that runs everything. Every emotion, experience, thought, decision and feeling you have ever had, are

Once recorded, these impressions influence the way you feel, behave and think. From early childhood, even when you were an infant, your self-concept  predicts and precedes your levels of effectiveness- in every aspect of your life.

Your self-concept explains why your personality is hugely affected by these mental laws.

If you want to be rich,  you must change your self-concept, so that you think about yourself as a rich person.

Once you have formed your self-concept in a particular manner, you  will always behave and act in a manner consistent with it. You may very well have an extraordinary ability, say a great golfer, or maybe a skier, but if you have a

Pressure brings this on better than anything else, so always be aware and prepared, or you will continuously perform below your true potential.

Let’s look at some area we may have a self -concept:

  • We have a self-concept for public speaking.
  • We have a self- concept about our popularity.
  • We have a self-concept for the kind of a partner or spouse we make.
  • We have a self-concept for the parent we are.
  • We have a self-concept for our sports performance and physical activity.
  • We have a self- concept for how disorganised or organised we are.
  • We have a self-concept on our time management and productivity.
  • We have a self-concept for our ability to do mathematics or read & write.
  • We have a self-concept of our financial wealth or lack of it.
  • We have a self-concept for how much we earn.
  • We have a self-concept on our career progression.


Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

businessman running

Now rich people constantly step outside their comfort zone. Whatever your self-concept, how you think, will become your comfort zone.  Once your self-concept is formed, and the  habit of thinking is set in a particular area, you will always act in a manner that is consistent with it – the comfort zone.

Your comfort zone without a doubt will become your single biggest obstacle to improving performance. When you get into that comfort zone, no matter what the area, unconsciously you will do whatever it takes to remain in your comfort zone.

But all is not lost…

It doesn’t matter if the comfort zone is dramatically below your true potential, capabilities and earning power are in that area.

The key is, positive thinking patterns to achieve your full potential.  These are the habits almost every self-made wealthy person on the planet   

So, you may be asking what this has got to do with the 80/20 rule…Well, this should be one of your 20%…  

You need to develop these new patterns and habits of positive thinking, focusing on what is possible for you.

The way to accomplish exponentially in your outside world, is by changing the way you think and feel on your inside world. This is the key to success and to truly achieving your potential.


High Self Ideal

Super businessman

On the inside, rich people have a high self-ideal. This is close to ‘a perfect you’- your ideal you.

What’s the very best, ideal person, that you can be….

Your self-concept and self-ideal are made up of your hopes, your wishes, your dreams, your fantasies, and your goal for your future perfect life. Combining the virtues and qualities that you admire most in other people and yourself.

Your self-concept and self-ideal are achieved only through positive thinking, imagining the very best you can be in your chosen area. Living the best life, you could imagine living. Rich, high-achieving, happy, successful people always hold in their minds their very clear self-ideals.

They are 100% sure about what they admire, what they respect and what they like. They have a very clear ideal about the values, attributes and virtues, of the superior women and men they want to become and emulate.

Really successful people have positive thoughts and an uplifting, inspiring, vision of what someone who is truly excellent looks like, and how they behave and work within their self-concept.

YOU have unlimited untapped potential, you are remarkable and have amazing abilities. What is your 20% that makes the most significant difference? Focus on your 20% and whatever your achievements in life so far, will be a mere shadow of what is truly possible if you spend your life in what matters, the 20%.

Engrave the 80/20 principle in your mind, and there will be no limits to what you can do, be or achieve. The only limits will be those that you impose on yourself through pessimistic or negative thinking.

You choose which road you want to take!

Take control of your self-concept by setting time aside every day for focused, positive thinking. Laying down the foundation for success will enable you to achieve and accomplish more than you ever thought possible. More than the average person would ever accomplish in their lifetime.

That just leaves me to say thank you for reading my article and I hope you found it of great value. To make that change, start using the 80/20 rule today.

Now It’s Your Turn…

I’d love to hear how you are going to use the 80/20 rule for goal-setting and time management.

What is your 20% to work on? What actions are you going to take for your future?

Or maybe you have a question.

Either way, leave a comment quick below.
I’ll be around to personally answer any questions.

So if you have a question or thought, leave a comment right now.

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