Using the 80/20 Rule in your Life
Have you always wanted to do more in less time? Make more money with less work? Eat healthy without crazy diets? Get in shape without working out all the time? If you’re looking for a way to better yourself while doing less work, the 80/20 rule is for you. When used properly, it will not only simplify your life, it will also boost the rewards from your efforts as well. Keep in mind, if you’re a perfectionist, you’ll have some adjusting to do. So let’s dive into the 80/20 principle so you can apply it today!
What is the 80/20 rule? a.k.a Pareto Principle
The 80/20 rule is also known as the Pareto Principle states that 80% of the effects of events come from 20% of the causes. It started when Pareto showed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by only 20% of the population. Basically, in most of life, 20% of efforts generate 80% of the results. For instance, 80% of a businesses revenue comes from 20% of their products. Or 20% of items on your budget make up 80% of your spending. 20% of your friends make up 80% of your social interactions. The list goes on and on.
Applying it to your life
You can literally apply the 80/20 rule to every and any aspect of your life. The goal is always to be more efficient with your time. As I mentioned before, this isn’t about perfection. Perfection is inefficient and goes completely against the 80/20 rule. It will take some time and a little effort on your part but the long-term benefits will be exponential.
You can really apply this in many facets of your life. Everything from the people you hang out with to the way you clean your house. Let’s take a look at the latter first. Cleaning your house may be a huge chore, especially if you’re a perfectionist. Just think, 80% of your time is probably spent in 20% of the living space. So, focus on that 20%. There is no need to overclean the 80% that hardly gets used. First of all, it probably isn’t as dirty so why spend as much time. Plus, if you “spot clean”, you can really cut down your cleaning time by always keeping your living space clean.
A tip for cleaning, when you are scheduling to clean your house, set a short schedule. If you allocate 2 hours for cleaning, it’ll take you 2 hours to clean, maybe more but if you only allocate 45 minutes or an hour to clean, and apply the 80/20 principle, you’ll be sure to clean your house in a shorter period. This allows you more time for other, more important, tasks.
Next, let’s take a look at your social life and friends. It is very important to hang out with the right people and have true friendships. You need to access who you spend most of your time with and see if that’s who, and what, you want in your life. 20% of your friends probably receive 80% of your attention.
When it comes to your budget, you’ll probably find that 80% of your spending comes from 20% of your expense categories. For example, rent or food/groceries. While some of your fixed expenses will be hard to adjust, you can take a look at your variable expenses and figure out what you can cut out. Take a look at your variable expenses over the last 3 months and order them from largest to smallest. The top 20% will probably account for 80% of your spending so focus there on what to eliminate. Once you make changes, you can reevaluate your budget in a few months. It’s a continuous process but it will save you time and money.
I think it’s safe to say that most people want to be in better shape, they always talking about starting a new diet or going to the gym. A big problem is people always try to overdo it and then they get burnt out. Unless you’re trying to accomplish some serious fitness goals, you can become fit by just doing some simple workouts. Fitness is a great place to incorporate the 80/20 rule for most people.
First, figure out what you want to accomplish. If you’re just trying to get more fit and be a little healthier, you can apply the 80/20 principle. There are a ton of home-based workouts that are quick and effective. For instance, there is a workout called the 7-minute workout. Basically, 7 minutes a day, every day, and you’re on your way. If you can’t spare 7 minutes a day, you need to reevaluate your priorities.
Another option is HIIT training, also known as High-Intensity Interval Training. This perfectly fits the 80/20 rule because it’s about doing short, high-intensity workouts. Its main purpose is to pack an intense workout into a short period of time, a super efficient workout.
How many of you have tried a new diet and failed? Personally, I hate a lot of these diets and think they are unneeded. They make you jump through hoops and eat super strict to quickly change your body. And then what happens when the diet is over? Most people don’t even like being on them, they’re doing it to lose weight. So let’s say they stick to the diet until they lose their weight, do they stay on it? They didn’t like it so why would they? Then they gain the weight back.
If you apply the 80/20 rule to your diet, you’ll lose weight and be happier. Instead of thinking of it as a 2-month diet plan or something like that, think about it as a lifestyle change. Take a look at all the things you eat, I’d say it’s safe to assume that your current diet falls into the 80/20 principle.
Take a look at all the things you eat throughout the day, every day, and put together a list. Let’s focus on 20%, the bad 20%, the easy 20% to fix. Soda, sugary juice, candy, junk snacks, etc. Cut them out. One of the big problems we have is taking in too much sugar so that typically an easy first step, remove it. Now, replace these with healthy alternatives. Water (or fruit infused water), fruits, low sugar snacks, etc. I will put together another post on this later.
So instead of trying some crazy new diet, all you did was focus on the bad 20% and made it a good 20%. It’s a little bit of a different approach but in my opinion, it can be a better option. Baby steps. After a month, do it again. Maybe remove unneeded carbs or anything else that might not be healthy for what you want. The goal is to apply the 80/20 principle to make lifestyle changes that stick.
80/20 Rule – The Pareto Principle Final Thoughts
If you’re just starting out on your journey to improving your life, the 80/20 rule is a great start. You can apply it to all aspects of your life and it’s easy to incorporate. It takes the focus away from perfection and shifts it to efficiency. You’ll see better results with less work. I urge you to give it a try today. I hope you enjoyed this content. Be sure to subscribe to our email list to get even more!