The 80/20 rule is also known as the Pareto Principle and was developed by Vilfredo Pareto in the early 1900s.
The basic principal of the rule is that a majority of the wealth in a single economy comes only from a small portion of the area’s population.
This rule can easily be applied in multiple industries and multiple aspects of life from running a business to understanding how to balance your personal life.
Most elements of life are not distributed evenly whether it is in business or life in general.
Take Time Away
Most of a working adult’s time is spent at work. This means that there is not much time left for life. If only 20 percent of your time is spent interacting with your family, 80 percent of your energy is focused elsewhere. Not only does this mean that you are career driven, which is a positive, it can mean that your family life is being neglected. It is important to take time away from work to spend more time with your family.
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Reduce Household Tasks
In a family of five, one member equals 20 percent. In most families, the mother takes care of 80 percent of the household tasks, leaving 80 percent of the family taking care of the additional 20 percent of the tasks. By reducing a single person’s household tasks, by hiring a maid or dividing tasks more equally, the overall productivity and general happiness of the family increases.
If only 20 percent of your workforce is producing 80 percent of the product, your workforce is unbalanced. What this means is that those putting in more effort are going to feel more workplace stress and dissatisfaction than those earning higher incomes with less effort. The conflict in the workplace can decrease productivity, cause quality control issues, and make a product unreliable.
Improved Personal Health
Healthier employees put forth more effort. Consider implementing a health improvement program for employees. Incentives can help employees increase efficiency while improving their health. Teaching employees how to eat healthy to stay focused at work or exercising briefly to reduce stress while at work may help more employees put forth more effort.
When rewarding employees for performance or meeting goals, cater lunches with healthy options rather than pizza, pasta, and carb-filled options. When the company sets the precedent for a healthy employee workforce, employees are more likely to follow suit on their own as they see the increased productivity, proficiency and performance others are achieving.
Dressing for Success
Believe it or not, the 80/20 rule can apply to your wardrobe and work attire. The way you dress for work says a lot about the amount of effort that you will put into your job duties. Foxcroft Collection says, “A business person should create a wardrobe that is 80 percent classic/interchangeable business attire with 20 percent of the wardrobe being for fun and leisure. Business clothes can easily be dressed down for a more casual look and is more interchangeable to create different looks”.
Only about 20 percent of released marketing campaigns produce 80 percent of the final result from the campaign. A way that this directly applies to businesses is that a large amount of money can be spent on advertising per year. What businesses often fail to do is analyze how much of the direct revenue for a product came immediately from a specific campaign.
Factor in the cost of advertising with overhead costs and that creates your percentage. If more funds are spent on advertising than what the revenues are producing, new approaches need to be explored.
Improving Business-Related Outcomes
If only 20 percent of your business’ workforce is putting forth any kind of effort, only 80 percent of a goal is being reached. Making changes to the 80 percent of the workforce not putting forth the same amount of effort is going to change and improve the outcomes for the entire business.
To improve the overall outcomes of a business’ productivity and practices, consider changing work groups to put more productive people with those that are less productive to improve upon the 20 percent effort put in by a majority of the workforce.
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The lesson that 20 percent of a company’s workforce puts forth 80 percent of the effort or 20 percent of a brand’s customers make up 80 percent of the sales seems hard to swallow. The large gaps in numbers are representative of how economies and home lives work.
A more equal, balance both at work and home, reduces stress on businesses and families. Although an equal work/life balance is nearly impossible, remembering to relax and take time away can help create an acceptable balance.