In the late 19th century, an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto noticed something interesting about the pea plants in his garden.
He noticed that about 80% of the peas were produced by 20% of the peapods.
Interestingly, however, Pareto started noticing this ratio elsewhere too.
During research for a paper, he discovered that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.
He went on to study the land distribution in other countries and found a similar pattern as well.
This eventually became known as “The 80/20 Rule,” which can be summarized as follows: 80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs.
But according to the book “Living the 80/20 Way,” author Richard Koch says that although this concept is heavily used in economics and business, it can also be applied to everyday life.
— Which 20% of your tasks bring you closer to 80% of your results?
— Which 20% of your activities provide you 80% of your happiness?
— Which 20% of your social circle bring you 80% of your enjoyment?
— What are the 20% of the clothes you wear 80% of the time?
This is one of the most important and helpful concepts of all time because it forces you to ask yourself which tasks in each area of your life are bringing you the most results.
In relation to my life, here’s a few things I’ve noticed as a result of asking myself the 80/20 question:
— 20% of my hobbies brought me 80% of my happiness. Conversely, 80% of my hobbies only brought me 20% of my happiness. I quit all of those hobbies and tried to find more of the hobbies I liked.
— 80% of the time I spent on my smartphone was spent on unproductive and unfulfilling activities. Because of this, I decided to delete all social media and apps I found useless from it. Now, I rarely use it.
So what about you? What changes could you make in your life today based on the 80/20 Principle?
Whether you apply this to hobbies, friendships, or productivity, living the 80/20 way can truly simplify how you live your life and make you happier and more successful in the process.