80% is good enough!


This week the value of 80% keeps popping up.  According to just a few reports: 

·      80% of success comes from your mindset 

·      80% of low-income families financially worse off since pandemic 

·      Covid vaccines cut risk of serious illness by 80% in over 80s 

·      80% of sellers on Etsy are women

In both business and life, I adopt the 80/20 rule where possible.  Are you aware of it?

It was coined by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who wrote in the late 19th century that in economics, 80% of your results often come from 20% of your efforts. This is still true today. For example, in general, 80% of revenue is generated by 20% of a salesforce and 80% of complaints come from only 20% of customers etc.

It seems that it is a universal truth that only a small percentage of what you do each day or week will produce any sort of measurable result and impact your life at home, at work or even if you are learning a new skill.

The key lesson for making the 80/20 rule work for you is to be mindful always of how and where you spend your time.  Invest time now in working out what are your turnkey activities that give you the greatest rewards.  

Identify these activities and focus on them rather than waste time and your sanity worrying about time-wasting activities. The great thing about this principle is that, once you’re mindful of it, you can make it part of your daily life. 

For example, if you take the time and work out that 80% of your business revenue comes from 20% of your customers then consistently nurture and focus on those customers.  In meetings, if 80% of the agreed action points comes from 20% of the meeting then develop ways to have shorter and more outcome focused meetings.   When learning a new skill find out what the people who are really good at it do and make that your 80% focus rather than trying to do everything. 

By concentrating on the 20% actions that give you 80% of your results, you’ll surpass others who are sweating the small stuff that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.     

On a personal level, 80% of my diet is excellent and the treats and times I just join in with others and have a slice of pizza etc. don’t add up to more than 20% so I don’t feel bad about them and enjoy them instead.  In business I strive for excellence and to get through the To Do list of my day but I also have a Stop Doing list that is at least 20% of my time and this gives me time to reset, reflect, read, relax and be a human being and not a human doing. 

Also, I don’t beat myself up about everything being 100% perfect. 

Like this article for example. I could agonise over it for hours and you would be looking at an empty page.  Finished is better than perfect.  

Enjoy finding your 80/20 balance today.