Focus On The Vital Few
June 16, 2020
80% of any output,consequences or results come from 20% of inputs,causes and effort.
Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian Economist, put forth the Pareto’s law or the 80/20 principle in 1897. According to this, in any population, a few things are likely more important than others. The nature of the universe is such that there is a natural imbalance between causes and results, inputs and outputs, and efforts and rewards.
Taken literally, 80% of achievement is rooted in 20% of our time and effort. Thus, for all practical purposes, four-fifths or a dominant part of any effort- is largely irrelevant.
This principle plays out in many ways in my life. Most of the time, I am wearing the same few clothes. I refer to a few critical books for the majority of my development ideas. 20% of my investments account for 80% of my returns. Similarly, 80% of my losses come from 20% of my investments.
While the Pareto’s Principle postulates an 80/20 ratio, the exact numbers don’t matter. It is more about the core idea. A minority of causes, inputs, or effort lead to a majority of the results, outputs, or rewards.
All of us have three types of resources at our disposal: money, time, and effort. We are always knocking our heads and focusing on a lot of activity, which yields very little in terms of practical value. Unwittingly, we concentrate on the long tail of 80%, which generates only 20% of the value, when we should be doing the converse.
- We think commitment at work is more important than the little time we can spare to sit peacefully in mediation.
- We feel busyness is more critical than committing ourselves to an hour of disciplined workout.
- Even at work, we load our calendar with back to back meetings, knowing that only 20% of these meetings create value for us and those dealing with us.
- We get distracted with the many friends and relationships, knowing fully well that your balance in life comes from your family and a few friends.
Revise your outlook on life and transform your thinking. Your effectiveness comes from how you manage, control, and utilize your time. Eliminate the trivial many and focus on the vital few- the 20% that creates real value for you.