The Pareto principle is an observation, not a theory, that employs the 80/20 ratio. This claims that 80% of the results we experience in life is because of only 20% of our actions. For example, in studying, if you happen to get a perfect score in your exam, it’s not necessarily because you studied your books from cover-to-cover. It’s because you happen to remember the correct 20% of your lessons which also happened to be included in the test. Knowing this, how can the Pareto principle change your life forever?
#1. You will make wiser choices.
If we follow the Pareto ratio of 80/20, roughly only 80 percent of your choices will lead you to success. This means that you should take quality over quantity at any given day. For example, if you only had an hour to review for a pop quiz, it would be unwise to read a book from cover to cover. To make use of the one hour well, you would only review the parts in your lessons you are still uncertain about. This will up your chances of getting a higher mark in the exam. The rest, you will rely on your stock knowledge. It’s a risk, but it’s still more efficient than cramming information into your head over a short period of time.
#2: You will save energy.
Lots of energy. The hardest workers are not always the most efficient ones. You might have seen memes floating around the Internet saying “Work smart, not hard.” If you think about it, not all your efforts will pay off. Given limited resources, you will do well by working smarter. This means smarter time management, more realistic goals, and a stronger strategy.
#3. You’ll learn to let go.
Those who employ the Pareto principle in their lives are more relaxed. This is because they know that not all of their efforts will reap rewards and that is completely fine with them. They have accepted that some efforts will be for nothing, so they spend less energy trying to work too hard. They try to focus on efforts which are more likely to yield positive results. Once all is said and done, they know it’s up to the other party to decide fates. While being in control is a good thing to a certain extent, using the Pareto principle in day-to-day challenges is quite liberating.
#4. You’ll manage to survive difficult situations.
You know the biggest enemy of success? Fear. Most of the time, you are frozen solid in fear, making you unable to perform a task, because you think too much. You feel overwhelmed by the things you need to do to succeed. With the 80/20 Pareto ratio, you will stop fussing too much. You will be able to slice up even the most overwhelming of tasks so you can have a better shot at success. After all, no one expects you to finish a slab of meat in one bite, do they? You will learn to slice up your task into mini-tasks, plot them out, and assess which pieces you should focus on to achieve the best results.
#5. You’ll open up to other possibilities.
Failure is always part and parcel of any event. When you fully understand the Pareto principle, you will realize that you cannot win all the time. Accepting the probability of defeat is a good thing because you will learn that there are other ways to achieve a goal. Instead of pouring all your efforts in one solution, you will learn to leave a little time for plan B, C, D and even E.
#6. You will be better at accepting defeat.
Those who apply Pareto principle in their everyday activities do not fear defeat. They accept it. Why? This is because they know that when they lose, they did not actually fail themselves. The idea they were pitching failed, or their approach failed. It is not a matter of having their egos bruised. It’s a lot less intimate than that because every success or failure is a test run. Failure is just a chance to try another solution.
*Featured image made in Canva