Five areas in life where you can apply the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule is also called Pareto Principle

The 80/20 rule can be applied everywhere

  1. 80/20 rule for work:
    People working in agile environments are at a clear starting advantage here! Basically, remind yourself that “done is better than perfect”. Pay attention to what is really important: Very likely, only 20% of what you produce or of services you offer generate 80% of your revenue. Similarly, just 20% of your presentation slides make up 80% of the impact on your audience. Focus on these 20% most important tasks and products and save your 80% energy for them.
  2. 80/20 rule for health:
    For a healthy life, it is recommended to do 300 minutes of moderate training per week. Here is where a curious ‘all or nothing’ mentality may kick in, and with a goal so high, many decide for ‘nothing’. I’ve been there. Then I decided to start with just 20 minutes a day, five days per week, which could be a fast-paced walk or a small Yoga session at home. That took much less than 20% of my available free time, but gave me 80% of the desired fitness results: I felt happier, healthier, and was 20 pounds lighter after only half a year. I have kept my motivation to this day and improved my training routines, and never would I have managed this if I had started with the 300-minute target.
  3. 80/20 rule for nutrition:
    You would like to betray your veganism and eat a real cheesecake once in a while? Go for it! (Remember, about 20% of the time you can cut yourself some slack-a little more than one day per week.) It is much better for your well-being and your long-term discipline to follow your healthy diet 80% of the time with relative ease and save yourself the struggle and frustration of having to stick to it in the other 20% of your time. There are, of course, people out there who achieve and enjoy a 100% diet. To them, it may not feel like a struggle to stay disciplined and to take care of the groceries and the cooking-they might even feel like they are spending just 20% of their energy on it… which is admirable, but likely an exception.
  4. 80/20 rule for parenting:
    Many parents are obsessed with creating a perfect life for their little ones: an organic plant-based diet, plenty of smart activities, a lot of outdoor action, enough quality time as a family-the list goes on. But there are also household chores, our careers, our other relationships, our personal interests. With all due respect to the mum bloggers whose world seems to perfectly accommodate everything: There are many other realities just as rewarding and just as worth striving for. Find your very own perfect 80% world and don’t lose energy fussing over a 100% life for your children (they will have their own opinion about it soon enough).
  5. 80/20 rule for hobbies:
    You always wanted to learn to play the piano, but cannot afford piano lessons, find a good teacher or have a similar excuse? Buy a keyboard, watch tutorials and just start! That’s 20% right there. No, you will not be a piano player, you will probably not take part in contests or perform on stage. But you gain the other 80%, the enjoyment, the pride of knowing something new, for comparatively little effort and expenses. And yes, this is another example from my personal life.

How the 80/20 rule improves your life



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Happily juggling my roles of working full-time in the media industry and resisting the urge to micromanage my two kids. Perfectionist, yet in love with 80/20.