How You Can Apply the 80/20 Rule in Your Life and Work

Thaisa Fernandes
PM101
Published in
7 min readMar 30, 2020

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I have always been fascinated by the 80/20 rule. At the same time, I didn’t know how to apply it in my life. Last year I read the 80/20 Principle, and this book opened my eyes a little more and gave me a better sense of how to apply the 80/20 rule in my professional life.

“How to 80/20 your work:

(1) Make a list of the 10 things you spend the most time on.

(2) Circle the two that truly drive your results. Do more of those.

(3) Look at the others. Eliminate ruthlessly. Automate or outsource what you can. Press pause on the rest.

(4) Repeat” — James Clear

The Pareto principle

The 80/20 rule is also known as the Pareto principle or the law of the vital few, which basically means that in many events 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. The Pareto principle name came from the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who discovered the principle after realizing that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population, and he kept observing the same pattern in other different situations.

Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto was born in Italy in 1848 and became an important philosopher and economist. After his realization of the 80/20 pattern…

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Thaisa Fernandes
PM101
Editor for

Program Management & Product Management | Podcast Host | Co-Author | PSPO, PMP, PSM Certified 🌈🌱