Sometimes we are too busy to enjoy life. Yet, there are things we have to do. Although we cannot avoid doing what we must, we can try to finish those sooner. There are different ways and techniques to attempt that. One is the 80/20 rule.

What is the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule refers to the idea that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the effort. For example, if you want to pass an exam, you may not need to study all day. 2 hours should be enough to give you a pass and maybe better.

If you however want to score a 100% on your exam, then it is best that you study as much as you can. The 80/20 rule means that the more effort you make, the less each extra hour of effort affects the final outcome or work.

In other words, 20% of our effort is worth 80% of the work. However, it does not need to be just work. The rule can be applied to almost every situation we want a result. It is all about being smart with choices and how we spend our time.

Where to apply the 80/20 rule

First, a good candidate for the 80/20 rules is all things we have to do but we do not want to do. You can think of cleaning the house, cooking (if you do not like that) or working out for some people.

Instead of investing a certain amount of effort to achieve what you have to achieve, you decide to put a smaller effort. Of course, you may slightly compromise the final result (for example a less clean house). However, you can unlock significant time that you can spend on what is most important to you.

What is more, the 80/20 rule can find applications to other areas of life too. You can think of keeping up with old friends, achieving goals or even your happiness. If you derive happiness from your actions and surroundings, then you can locate the 20% of things that bring you 80% of your happiness. Then, all you have to do is focus on those things.

Where to not apply the 80/20 rule

Indeed, the 80/20 rule can help you save time for what matters the most for you. However, when you apply the rule, you inevitably lower the quality of the final result or work. Considering that, there are areas in your life where you do not want to lower any quality.

What is most important for you, you put your 100% on it. It does not make sense to apply the rule here. The rule is there to save time from less important things so that you have more time for what matters the most.

In other words, to apply the rule, you can first ask what matters the most to you. Self awareness and setting priorities are always important. When you know your priorities, you focus your efforts on them. For the rest, you apply the 80/20 rule.

The time we have is limited. It is difficult to be perfect on everything. But you can be perfect on a few areas and above average for the rest. That is the juice of the 80/20 rule.


  • 20% of the effort can bring 80% of the result
  • Apply the 80/20 rule for all things you have to do but do not like or want to
  • The 80/20 rule is there to save you time so that you can put your 100% on what matters the most

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