How to Become Efficient by Using the 80/20 Rule

When you want to become more efficient many try to just do more with their time. I have found in my experience though that the greatest increase doesn’t come from doing more with less time, it comes from doing more of the right thing during the time you spend.

The Pareto Principle also called the 80/20 rule states that 80% of all your results will come from 20% of the tasks you do.

When you focus on those tasks amazing things happen.
I made a reprioritization thorough about a year ago. I looked through my to-do list and saw that out of the 20 things I did every day 4 of the tasks resulted in pretty much all the results I was trying to accomplish.

The other 16 tasks were really just noise; they could either be delegated or eliminated without it affecting anything really severely.

It was a frightening experience to just get rid of 16 tasks, but what happened was amazing, when I started spending all my time on 4 very important tasks instead of 20 the results I produced just blew me out of the water and my income and career skyrocketed.

The difference was incredible and exhilarating.

If you decide work more on the tasks that bring real value to your future you will produce much more, with a lot less effort. When you focus your most important tasks you can forget about the unimportant working perhaps only 6 hours/day and still producing 10 times as much as you used to when you worked 8, 9 or even 12 hours.

Finding your most important task
The Pareto Principle states that out of 10 items, 2 of the tasks will be worth 80% of your results.

By going through your weekly plans, monthly plans and yearly plans and deleting everything that you possible can so that you can focus on your most important tasks and work on them all day you will increase your output and therefore income substantially.

Your 3 most important tasks
Studies have shown that in every job have 3 tasks that are more important than all the rest put together.

In sales it could be Prospecting, booking meetings and meeting with your customers.
For a manager it could be Coaching, Recruiting and following up on delegation.

Your business will be unique so you have to find what is most important for you.

How to find your 3 most important tasks
1. Write down everything you do for your business, every single task.

2. If you could only do one thing all day and you want it to be the task that will have the greatest affect on your business, what task would you chose?

3. Move that task to another list and chose out of the remaining tasks the one that is the most important and if you could only do one task all day, is the one you would chose.

4. Move the second task to the other list and chose a third task.

This second list with the three tasks is the tasks you should do. These tasks will stand for at least 80% of your output. Try to find ways to either eliminate of decrease the amount of time you spend on other tasks.
This simple exercise will allow you to produce much more with a lot less effort, propelling you too success and your goals.

A continuous process
You are never done, if you had 100 items on your list when you did your first clearing and reduced the list to your 20 most important tasks you can once again see that 80% of your results are coming from 4 of those 20 tasks.
Once you have done this you can see that 1 of these tasks equals over 80% of your results.

I go through my lists every week trying to get rid of everything that isn’t giving me a lot of benefits.

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Related posts:

  1. Your To-do List Needs to be Shortened
  2. How to Double Your Salary Without Working Harder – Just Smarter
  3. How to Stop Procrastinating – 10 Things You can do Today
  4. How to use a Weekly Calendar to Combine Daily and Weekly Plan
  5. How to Organize Your Day to be More Efficient
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4 Responses to How to Become Efficient by Using the 80/20 Rule

  1. Hey Daniel,
    I love the 80/20 rule and plan to blog on it myself. It’s really a concept one needs to understand if you really want to understand the benefits of focusing on the most productive and rewarding aspects of your life. Good post Daniel.

  2. Timo Kiander says:


    80/20 is a principle that every online entrepreneur should learn to master – especially if building his/her business at the same time while having a day job.

    In general level, I try to do my 20% tasks before I hit the office – as many of them as possible. By doing so, I make sure that the most important stuff gets done on a daily basis.


    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Timo.
      Getting your most important tasks out of the way is very, very important.
      If you aren’t able to get rid of them you will find that even though you are working hard you aren’t doing anything meaningful with your time.

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