If you haven’t, don’t feel bad, I just learned of it last year and since then I’ve heard it everywhere. It’s basically this…
Italian Economist Vilfredo Pareto observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population, and found that it was similarly distributed in other countries as well.
Since then, business management has applied this principal as a rule of thumb in business: that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients, or 80% of your productivity comes from 20% of your employees.
Does this rule apply to you? Sure. Don’t you wear 20% of the clothes in your closet about 80% of the time? Or eat 20% of the favorite meals for 80% of your dinners? Or maybe out of your 10 favorite people, you are in contact with 2 of them 80% of the time?
Though it’s not a rule you couldn’t poke holes through, there are some extremely spot-on lessons to learn from this 80/20 rule:
1. We could all take this new decade and look at the 20% of our personal interactions that yield 80% of our joy and satisfaction. Focus there. Don’t be distracted by the sheer number of those “other” interactions.
2. In our work, we need to shift our concentration to the 20 percent of clients and projects that generate 80 percent of the revenue. Even if we think we’re really good at keeping a dozen plates spinning, if we narrow our energies to that which can build the greatest wealth, we arrive at that abundant place much more quickly.
3. Lastly, know that you can get rid of that 20% that causes 80% of your grief and worry, (unless it’s a spouse or child, of course)!
For 2010, my goal is to focus on the 20% that creates 80% of the value in my life…both in my personal as well as business life. Then with that extra time and energy, I’ll find more of those people and experiences that fit in that 20% category. Wow, the sky is the limit here!
So what makes up the 20% in your life? Identify it, magnify it, and make 2010 the best year you\’ve ever had. Happy New Year!