What is the 80-20 Rule?

The 80-20 rule states that 20% of what we do will return 80% value. This means that if you have 10 items on your to-do list, 2 of them will likely return 80% of the results. Unfortunately, most of us end up working on the 8 tasks that return just 20%.

How do we determine which tasks will give the greatest return? Usually we just get to work and hope we’ll get everything done by the end of each day. Some of us prioritize our lists; others just pick the most enjoyable or easiest tasks first. But even if we do prioritize according to importance and urgency, how do we know for sure that what we are doing is the 20% effort that returns 80% impact?

To determine which activities return the greastest value, we need to use an Impact versus Effort matrix… one that insures that we give priority to the highest impact jobs first… and especially to those which require the least effort 😉

The chart speaks for itself. Go for the QUICK WINS first and then concentrate on your MAJOR PROJECTS. Then, if there is time, do the FILL IN JOBS that need to be done. As far as the THANKLESS TASKS are concerned, I’ll leave that one up to you. But unless they are really important, they are probably best forgotten.

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