Can We Work 80% Less and Produce Almost as Much?

Have you heard of the 80/20 Principle? In marketing I have known it for decades as “80% of revenue comes from 20% of customers.”OtH masthead

Then 9 years ago another consultant told me that she specializes in helping people and companies implement the 80/20 Principle.  I responded, “So you help them understand their top 20% of customers and how to work more effectively with that group?”  She replied not really, that her work is to help people implement the principle in order to be more effective.

Stacked pebblesWhat a great concept–20% of my efforts produce 80% of my intended results. Nice!  I can use that wasted effort to really produce amazing results. Or, work a lot less and produce almost as much!

Over time I have paid attention to the idea and it does help me to be more effective, but I have not been able to reduce my workday to 2 hours. Here’s why:

  • 80% of the results are not enough if I want to grow my business
  • Sometimes that “wasted work” is not really wasted. It’s learning new practices; doing the adminis-trivia that supports my business; or efforts that build a foundation for more efficient future growth.
  • Most important: how do I KNOW which 20% to focus on? There are lots of ways to gather and analyze data, but that takes time and things change so rapidly.

The bottom line is that this wonderful principle HAS caused me to think about all the things I do and choose more carefully before I do something myself, outsource it, or take it off my list.
What about you? Do you believe this principle? What techniques do you use to follow it? Did you get some useful insights today? Please share!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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