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Thursday, August 20, 2015


Have you ever heard of the 80:20 rule? The real name is the "Pareto Principle" - it was named after the Italian Vilfredo Pareto who wrote about this in 1896. According to Wikipedia, this principle, "The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes."*
This principle can be applied to various aspects of our lives and the "recommendation" is always the same: Focus on doing less to get more. Let's look at a few examples:
For some of us, only 20% (or even less) of the people we call "Friends" bring us 80% of the richness you enjoy in interacting with others. Think about all your "friends" on Facebook versus those you actually and truly connect with. Thinking about household chores, I believe that only about 20% of the things we do are critical for 80% satisfaction in our homes - the challenge is in identifying the 20% & getting our family especially our husbands to agree - because they may have their own idea of what the 20% is.  On the flip side, too many times we let 20% of what people say or do to us, upset us for 80% or even more of our day. 
When you look at your day, are you able to identify the 20% or less that determines how 80% or more of your day will go? I know for me, my daily 20% comprises my Quiet Time (spent with God) and then quality time spent with my family.
Extending this principle, when you look at your relationships and interactions, are you part of the 20% that adds value to other people's 80%?

I'm not saying you should do less - I'm just saying identify the things that result in highest impact or value in your life and the lives of others around you and focus your energy on those. It's about working smarter not necessarily working harder. Live by the 80:20 rule...

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