80/20 Rule: A key to Success


There are very high chances that you are already aware about this very famous principle also known as the Pareto principle.

According to this rule 80 percent of the results stem from 20 percent of all the efforts put into achieving those results.


For example:

Students cover 80 percent of the syllabus in the last 20 percent of the academic year.

80 percent of the total sales target of a company is achieved by 20 percent of its sales workforce.

80 percent revenues of a company come from 20 percent of its product range.

80 percent of wealth is with the 20 percent rich people.

So what’s a big deal in it?

The point at the individual level is that most of us owe 80 percent of our academic and professional success to just 20 percent tasks that we perform and in the 20 percent time that we spend.

80-20 2

We need to identify those 80 percent tasks that are less productive or totally unproductive and replace them with those 20 percent tasks that are really giving us the desired results.


The key is monitoring. This is the hall mark of the achievers. The achievers are not the ones who are outstandingly intelligent.  But they are the ones who are extremely efficient in monitoring how they are spending their time.

For example there might be a person who spends one hour daily on reading a newspaper supposedly to improve his verbal skills. He is content in spending this hour because it gives him some kind of satisfaction. But he rarely or never asks “what did I learn in this one hour?” Suppose he learns almost nothing worthwhile, he is wasting 30 hrs of his precious time over a month.

Zooming in to this one hour spent on newspaper reading it is quite possible that he might be spending 10-15 minutes very efficiently on reading a particular article. But even that is lost in the overall effort.

Thus even if he spends 10 -15 minutes on newspaper reading with proper monitoring and analysis, he might gain more than what he gained from one hour of effort.

I am not saying that time wastage and redundancy of efforts can be eliminated. What I am suggesting is it can be minimised by vigilance and this can bring drastic changes in performance.

We only have 24 hours in a day. If we want to improve production, it can only be by improving productivity.

Let us understand and challenge the 80-20 rule. Just like champions do.

Thanks for your time. Hope this helps. Your feedback is extremely valuable.