How to accomplish twice the work in half the time and reduce your
stress in the process
Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) A controversial
engineer - economist - sociologist whose
work included the then little known law of
income distribution, now known as the
Pareto’s Law of
80% of the wealth is produced and possessed
by only 20% of the population.
80/20 Outside of Economics
Pareto also noticed, among other things, that
80% of his garden peas were produce by only
20% of the pea pods he had planted.
80% of the Outputs come from 20% of the
80% of the consequences flow from 20% of the
80% of the results come from 20% of the time and
80% of Company profits come from 20% of the
products and customers
80% of Stock Market gains come from 20% of the
investors and 20% of the portfolio
Ratio is often more severe
It is not uncommon to see:
How can we use this to be
Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of
your problems and unhappiness?
Which 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of
your desired outcomes and happiness?
Which 20%, 10% or 5% of
your customers are causing
80%, 90% or 95% of your
grief? Ask yourself
“Are they really worth it …… really?”
How badly would it affect your income if you
got rid of them?
A large percentage of the
time, a maximum of
heartache can be eliminated
with a minimum of income
If you CAN get rid of, fire, or reassign a
customer or project that has an inverted grief
to income ratio …..
JUST DO IT!!
Still Other Applications
Have you ever heard someone say “I work
better under a deadline?”
This is Parkinson’s Law in action
Parkinson’s Law States:
A task will swell in “perceived” importance in
reverse proportion to the amount of time you
have to complete it.
If something “must” be done by tomorrow,
we will put off other items to see that the task
If it is not needed for two months, we hardly
think of it for seven weeks.
How to be “Uber” effective:
Limit tasks to the important to shorten work
Shorten work time to limit tasks to the
important (Parkinson’s Law)
Identify the few critical
tasks that contribute most
to income and then schedule
them with very short and
The Kobayashi Maru
This was a test given by Star Fleet to
command candidates. It thrust the student
into a no-win situation to see how they would
There was no right or wrong choice, but the
decision made by the student, which
undesirable outcome they chose, revealed a
great deal about the student’s makeup
Why is this relevant?
James Tiberius Kirk, the venerable captain of
the Starship Enterprise 1701-A, didn’t like
knowing that he was going to be put into a
He believed that there were always
alternatives, other ways to approach the
problem, other choices besides what you are
He secretly gained access to the simulation
computer before his test and reprogrammed
the Kobayashi Maru so that it was no longer a
no win scenario.
He changed the rules of the game to work for
What’s our lesson?
What is it we believe about how we should
spend our days and how many hours we
should put in because those are the rules
we’ve been given?
Are we doing work that a clerk, an assistant,
or Virtual Assistant could be doing?
Are we “inventing” tasks so that we can trick
ourselves into thinking that we are being
Change the rules!!
We need not accept someone else’s
description of what it means to be
Use the 80/20 Principle to determine what
you should be doing, with whom, and when.
Overlay Parkinson’s Law to optimize how to
do it in the most effective manner and in the
shortest possible time.
80/20 (ON STEROIDS)
The ONE Thing
I want you to go small by identifying the 20
percent, and then I want you to go even
smaller by finding the vital few of the vital
Keep going. You can actually take 20 percent
of the 20 percent of the 20 percent and
continue until you get to the single most
A To Do List
The One Thing
Go small. Don’t focus on being busy; focus on being productive. Allow
what matters most to drive your day.
Go extreme. Once you’ve figured out what actually matters, keep
asking what matters most until there is only one thing left. That core
activity goes at the top of your success list.
Say no. Whether you say “later” or “never,” the point is to say “not now”
to anything else you could do until your most important work is done.
Don’t get trapped in the “check off” game. If we believe things don’t
matter equally, we must act accordingly. We can’t fall prey to the notion
that everything has to be done, that checking things off our list is what
success is all about. We can’t be trapped in a game of “check off” that
never produces a winner. The truth is that things don’t matter equally
and success is found in doing what matters most.