The 80/20 Principle: Do Less, Get More


20 percent of the the input will generate 80 percent of the results. The remaining 80 percent of the input will generate only 20 percent of the results.

This is not a mild observation, this is a fact of life, a phenomenon that is undeniable.

What is the 20 percent of input that you do to get the 80 percent? Identify that, and do only that. You will have so much free time that you will feel almost ‘negligible’. That’s alright, because in the grand scheme of things, you are negligible, a speck in the Sahara, a paper boat riding the Niagara.

If you feel that you can’t do this or that because you don’t really have the time, you are being ignorant. I have tons of examples – tons! – from not only other people’s lives, but my own, where the 80/20 principle has helped in increasing overall productivity while decreasing the overall time spent to achieve it.

80 20 Principle
The 80 20 Principle

That is how it is. That is the way God has set up this place. Learn it. And live.

Our notions of cause and effect are symmetrical, but that is not how they are in real life. A small cause can have such a massive effect, and a number of large causes may not be able to give any effect whatsoever. Identification of that ‘important few’ causes is why you’d bother thinking about this in the first place.

Some Examples:

  • By just being able to hire the right person, you as a business owner can free yourself from pretty much everything that goes in running a business
  • By reading 20% of the book, you may know 80% of its content! (I have tried this on numerous occasions while at college and this has always worked – students call it selective study. It is selective and, if done right, is a magnificent example of the power of the 80/20 principle)
  • You can pray all you want to God – but a simple act of kindness to another fellow being, especially when you know you don’t ‘have to’ be kind, bears greater rewards from the One Above (all those nights spent in prayer is the 80 percent you can easily replace, if you want to!)
  • You may fall in love within seconds, and that few seconds might as well affect the remaining years of your life.
  • One sixer by Javed Miandad in the last ball of the last over can cement his place in the National Cricket Team for years to come.
  • The right words spoken to your spouse can replace all the expensive dinners and outings that you otherwise think you’d need to do to convey your feelings.

I can, you can be sure, go for miles with this.

Identify the 20 percent!

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