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Use the 80/20 Principle to Achieve More in 2024

The core principle of the 80/20 rule states that roughly 80% of your outputs come from 20% of your inputs. This can be applied to various aspects of life.

If you owned a business, 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers.
80% of food ordered at a restaurant comes from 20% of the items on the menu.
80% of your results at work come from 20% of your tasks.
Identifying this vital 20% and focusing your efforts on it can dramatically improve your efficiency and effectiveness.

Don’t try to do everything. Instead, prioritise ruthlessly and focus on the few things that will have the biggest impact. This means focusing your time on the things that matter and make a difference.

Play to your strengths: Everyone has unique talents and abilities. Play to your strengths and delegate or outsource the rest, wherever you can. Don’t waste time and energy trying to be good at everything. Some leaders are terrible at delegating. Some are martyrs who don’t believe anyone else can do anything as well as they can. Some are abdicators who flick ALL of the work off to others. Look for the ‘sweet spot’ in the middle. Play to your strengths and build the capability of those you lead.

Eliminate the trivial: Some of what we do is actually busy work that has little or no impact on our results. Identify and eliminate these time-wasting activities to free up your time for what really matters. Try to identify the 20% of your tasks or time where you have the most impact.

Leverage technology and automation: Use technology to your advantage to automate tasks and free up your time for more important things. For example, set up email templates for emails you often have to send but usually start from scratch each time. By saving a template you can have a great start and then edit or tweak the base. If you haven’t tried it already, check out Chat GPT.

Don’t be afraid to say no: It’s okay to say no to requests that don’t align with your priorities or goals. Don’t let other people control your time and energy.

Measure your results: Track your progress to see what’s working and what’s not. This will help you to make adjustments and stay on track.

Be patient: The 80/20 principle is not a quick fix. It takes time and effort to implement it effectively. Persistence can lead to improvements in your productivity and results.

For more insights check out “The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less” by Richard Koch.