What is the Pareto principle?

Picture this: you’re in an orchard, picking apples. You notice that 80% of the apples come from just 20% of the trees. This simple observation is the essence of the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule. It suggests that in many situations, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

For example, it’s common to find that 80% of your revenue comes from just 20% of your customers. Focusing on that crucial 20% allows you to maximize your results with less effort. The principle can also apply to project management or time management, where a small portion of tasks or activities may account for most of the impact or results.

Of course, the exact ratio can vary, and the principle isn’t always a perfect fit. But the key takeaway is that it’s essential to identify the most significant factors in a given situation and focus your efforts on them. By doing so, you’ll use your resources more efficiently and make smarter decisions overall. So next time you tackle a challenge, think of the Pareto Principle and ask yourself: “What’s my 20% that will produce 80% of the results?”

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