Family Encyclopedia >> Work

Use the 80/20 time management rule to prioritize your tasks

How to maximize your time? Do you use time management apps? Do you plan ahead and stay on top of your schedule? Or do you prioritize your tasks? If you've tried these things and are still having trouble making effective use of your time, you may need a change.

The 80/20 rule is another option for time management, and with a little tweaking, it could be your ideal solution.

What exactly is the 80/20 rule??

The 80/20 rule is also known as the Pareto Principle. The concept originated with the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. He noted that 80 percent of the country's land was owned by only 20 percent of the population. This prompted Pareto to further examine this imbalance and how it related to other areas.

Years later, a consultant named Joseph Juran applied this concept to business and dubbed it the Pareto Principle. From The Economist online:

According to Investopedia, this means that:

  • 80 percent of sales volume comes from 20 products in the product line.
  • 80 percent of a company's revenue comes from 20 percent of its customers..
  • 80 percent of a company's production comes from 20 percent of its employees..

With all of this in mind, tying the principle to time management means that 80 percent of your output could come from just 20 percent of your time. Now the question is, how to achieve that? Here are four things you can do.

Evaluate your tasks frequently

If 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the effort, then it stands to reason that 80 percent of the impact will come from 20 percent of your tasks. Identify the 20 percent of your tasks that will give you 80 percent of the results you seek.

Use the 80/20 time management rule to prioritize your tasks

As you review your assignments, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is every task on my list labeled urgent??
  • Are the tasks on my list within my scope or do they belong elsewhere?
  • Am I spending too much time on certain types of tasks?
  • Are there tasks you need to delegate? A leadership skill must be required to reduce your workload. You must have a leadership skill to reduce your workload. Once you're in a leadership role, you'll need to learn how to delegate work. We teach you the five questions of delegation:who, what, when, where and why. Read more ?
  • Are all these tasks really necessary for the overall result?

Continually evaluate your goals

Your goals and tasks may be intertwined, but not always. Some may be completely separate. So think about your goals and the activities needed to achieve them. Remember that 80 percent of those goals will be achieved with just 20 percent of the necessary activities.

Use the 80/20 time management rule to prioritize your tasks

Here again, take inventory and see which 20 percent of activities get you closer to most of your goals. Take a look at these few examples and see if you can relate:

  • If I work late today (20 percent on), I can finish the item on my to-do list, make the boss happy, AND get off the ground tomorrow (80 percent on target).
  • If I make a salad to eat at my desk for lunch today (20 percent on task), I can work on that task, beat the deadline, AND get closer to my weight loss goal (80 percent on goal). ).
  • If I schedule regular meetings (20 percent uptime), I can increase team communication, have a more successful project AND be a better leader (80 percent on target).

Determine your prime time

We all have specific times during the day when we are most productive. You can do your best work between 9 AM and 11 AM. Or you can do more between 3 pm and 5 pm When do you feel most energetic, focused and productive?

Use the 80/20 time management rule to prioritize your tasks

Determine when your best time is Discover your most productive hours with this simple method Discover your most productive hours with this simple method Build your perfect work day around your energy levels. This simple Excel spreadsheet and a few seconds of work each day could help you change your habits and get more done. Read More This will ensure that you spend your most productive time of the day on the tasks and activities necessary to get the best results.

Identify and eliminate distractions

Whether you commute to the office every day or work from home, distractions are everywhere. Those little nasty interruptions can cause loss of focus, delayed tasks, and an overall drop in your productivity. These 10 distractions are crushing your productivity. Read more.

Use the 80/20 time management rule to prioritize your tasks

Using the concept of the 80/20 rule, FreshBooks assumes:

To take those distractions and eliminate them, you must first identify them. Your list may look something like this:

  • Email bursts
  • Incoming calls
  • Unplanned visitors
  • Thirsty or hungry
  • Social network notifications

After you have your list of distractions, go through it and see which ones interrupt you the most. You will probably find that just two or three (20 percent) are the majority (80 percent) of the problem. Then incorporate ways to eliminate those interruptions. Here are some suggestions:

  • Block specific times to work on emails.
  • Let non-urgent calls go to voicemail.
  • Close the door to your office.
  • Have a drink and snack on hand.
  • Stay away from social media during work.

Have you tried the 80/20 rule??

The Pareto Principle may bring success in certain industries and uses, but can it work for you? If You've Tried the 80/20 Rule 4 Ways to Take the Stress Out of Productivity 4 Ways to Take the Stress Out of Productivity With a few well-targeted changes, you can increase your productivity by leaps and bounds. Apply these simple methods to your life and the result is what you'd expect:work better with less effort. Read More Adversely, if you gave this concept a try with negative results, do you know what went wrong?

Share your story with us in the comments below so others can learn from your experience.