The Pareto concept or the 80 by 20 rule refers to the idea that 80% of outputs, results, or effects come from 20% of all inputs or efforts. The idea is used in many disciplines such as management, economics, and personal success. It is also known as the Pareto principle or Pareto distribution. 

Businesses often use the 80 by 20 rule to focus on top-performing employees and clients. These are usually customers who generate most of your income. In a similar way, you can use the rule to help you enhance your lifestyle. What tasks do you spend the most time on? Do these activities really contribute much towards your goals? How much effort do you put into solving problems? Are there some that require more time than your effort is worth? 

Let’s find out what the rule is and how to use it.

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The Origin of 80 by 20 Rule

The 80 by 20 rule is a well-known principle that was initially proposed by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto in 1896.

The rule states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the work, so if you want to get maximum results, do only 20% of the tasks and keep doing them until you’ve reached your goal.

The concept refers to the idea that 80% of outputs, results, or effects come from 20% of all inputs or efforts. It’s often used in productivity and efficiency management, where it can be applied to work processes and the allocation of limited resources.

Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of Italy’s land was owned by 20% of its people. He later found out this same pattern could be observed in other areas too: 80% of wealth is owned by 20% of people; 80% of crimes are perpetrated by 20% of criminals etc.

Use in Management, Economics, and Personal Success

The 80/20 rule is used in many disciplines such as management, economics, and personal success. 

The 80/20 rule has been applied to nearly every aspect of life. It has been used in management, economics, and personal success.

In management, the 80/20 rule is used to evaluate employee productivity. The idea is that 80% of a company’s revenue comes from 20% of its employees; therefore, managers should focus on getting more out of their top performers instead of trying to improve efficiency across the board. This concept can also be used to determine which projects have the most potential for success: if 80% of your ideas are good but only 20% are great—or if you’re spending a lot of time on projects that aren’t going anywhere—you may want to rethink your strategy for coming up with new ideas or projects.

In economics, the 80/20 rule has been used as an indicator for market saturation: if 80% of all money spent on a certain product goes toward 20% of all available products (or vice versa), it’s likely that demand for those products will level off or decline over time. 

Businesses use the Rule to Focus on Top-Performing Employees and Clients

The 80/20 rule can be used to help you focus on what matters.

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, chances are that the majority of your time and effort is spent putting out fires and dealing with issues from customers. This is especially true if you work in a customer service-oriented field – every call that comes in will feel like it takes up all your resources for an hour or two at a time. However, what most people don’t realize is that only 20% of customers actually account for 80% of sales! That means if you can find out which 20% of clients are making all the money, you can then focus on them exclusively. 

The same goes with employees: If only 20% of your staff is bringing in 80% worth their salary then maybe it’s time to reevaluate staffing levels.

Generating Most of Your Income

This is a popular rule that has been applied in many business scenarios, but the most common context is with customers. The 80 by 20 rule says that only 20% of your customers generate 80% of your revenue.

To use this rule, you need to know how much you make from each customer. You can measure this in three different ways:

  • How much they spend with you – e.g., total sales revenue per month or yearly figure
  • How much they are worth to you – e.g., the profit margin on their products or services vs other customers
  • Other factors – could be social media following/brand awareness/reputation, etc

Enhancing Your Lifestyle

In a similar way, you can use the rule to help you enhance your lifestyle.

The 80/20 Rule is used as a framework for prioritizing tasks and goals. By identifying what is important to you, it will be easier to determine what is not important. For example, if spending more time with family and friends is something that matters most to you—and this should be an area we all focus on improving—you might want to eliminate less important activities like watching TV or surfing the internet in order to make room for more meaningful ones (like spending time with loved ones).

two workers working in the office happily

Using the 80 by 20 in the Workplace

As you can see, the 80/20 principle is a powerful tool for getting more done in less time. The key is to focus on your most productive employees, customers, and tasks. Then, given that those tasks make up 20% of your work, choose the top two or three priorities that will make the biggest difference for your company—and start there! If a problem requires attention but isn’t urgent enough to address right now, remember that it probably sits in the bottom 80% category as far as value goes (meaning there are other things on your plate that would serve you better).

This kind of prioritization process also helps when setting goals: if you want something big done by an arbitrary date (like tax season), first ask yourself what actions are going to get you closest to achieving this goal within whatever time frame works best for everyone involved. Then prioritize those actions based on their relative importance compared with everything else going on in your life at any given moment—you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is once you know which problems need solving today versus tomorrow.

How to Make the Most of this Rule for Your Organization’s Success?

The 80 by 20 rule is a tool that can greatly help your business. It’s a simple concept that will allow you to perform better and make more money. But before you can use it, you need to ask yourself some questions:

  • What tasks do I spend most of my time on? Do these activities really contribute much to my overall goals?
  • How much effort do I put into solving problems and improving processes? Are there some that require more time than the return justifies?

The first step in using the 80/20 rule is determining where your efforts are best focused. You may find that there are some areas where less input yields greater returns—and others where more input yields better results still.

Do these Activities Really Contribute Much towards Your Goals?

Here is where the 80/20 rule can help. Since 80% of your results come from 20% of your activities, by identifying and focusing on those activities, you can dramatically increase your productivity, team morale, and company culture.

The first step to using the 80/20 rule is to find out what is important for you and your organization’s goals. You need to quickly identify which tasks contribute most towards achieving these goals. It also helps if there are multiple team members involved so everyone has an understanding of what each other’s role is in achieving their mutual goals or mission statements. 

How Much Effort You Put into Solving Problems

You may be wondering how much effort you put into solving problems.

One of the best ways to find out if what you’re doing is worthwhile and making an impact is by asking yourself this question:

  • If I was only allowed 20% time for my problem-solving activities, what would I spend my time on?

Are there Some that Require more Time than your Effort is Worth?

Using the 80 by 20 rule helps you identify which activities are worth your time and effort. It is important to note that some tasks may not be worth your energy at all, and once you have identified them as such, it is time to let go of them. You can do this by either deleting them or delegating them (if possible).

After applying the 80 by 20 rule to your daily routine and setting up a system based on this principle, you will find yourself focusing on what matters most in life—instead of wasting hours on things that don’t bring any value into your life.

happy employees

Advantages of Using the Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle is a great way to get an idea of how you should be spending your time. It’s especially useful if you’re working on a project that has a lot of moving parts and are not sure how to prioritize them.

Since 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. That means that if you have 100 tasks on your list, only 20 of them will contribute most of the value. If you focus on those 20 tasks, you’ll be able to accomplish more than half of what needs to be done. This allows you to spend less time doing busy work and more time on projects that matter.

Another advantage is that since there are only 20% worth doing, it makes it easier for people to identify what those tasks are and eliminate the rest. This saves everyone time and energy when working together towards a common goal.

Disadvantages of using the 80/20 Rule

While the 80/20 rule is often correct, it’s important to remember that it’s not always so. Remember that this is a general rule and not a law of nature. It will not apply in every situation you encounter.

One of the major disadvantages of using the 80/20 rule is that it can be misleading. It’s not uncommon to find that in a particular situation, the numbers are reversed—that 20% of your team is doing 80% of the work. In these cases, you’ll want to use more specific metrics, like time spent on tasks or the number of hours worked per week, to determine who is really driving your business forward.

It can be difficult to find out what your most effective tasks are. This can be especially difficult if you’re new to a job or industry, as it’s hard to know what tasks are “most effective” until you’ve been in your role for a while.

Managing Your Progress with AttendanceBot

Managing your workload can be easier and a lot simpler if you use a work management tool like AttendanceBot. From tracking time on work hours spent, and managing leaves, to boosting productivity in hybrid workers and scheduling shifts, it does it all. 

With AttendanceBot’s project time management feature, maximize billable hours for clients while making sure that productivity still exists.

Why pay for a seat for every employee when you’re working hybrid? Make sure that only a percentage of the employees are in the office on any given day, and create your office space accordingly with hybrid work and hot desking features.

The Pareto principle requires businesses to be more flexible with their processes and empower employees.  With AttendanceBot, you can empower employees to manage their own time off, timesheets, and WFO. 

Tracking Vacations and Approving Leaves with AB

Ready to Use the 80 by 20 Rule?

The 80/20 rule is a useful tool for prioritizing your tasks and making sure you’re not wasting time on what doesn’t really matter. When we approach each day with the goal of achieving results that matter most, we can get rid of the things that don’t matter as much. This allows us to focus on what does.

If you’ve ever tried to do everything at once and failed miserably, then this should come as no surprise: you can’t do everything at once! In fact, most people find themselves unable to achieve their goals when they try to do too many things at once or spread their time too thin across different areas of life (work, family, etc.). However, rules like the 80 by 20 rule are there to help and make lives easier.