Pareto Principle Illustrated

The Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule says that 80% of the output or results will come from 20% of the input or action. (see more at Measuring Productivity)


When this is applied to a typical day, you can expect that 80% of your time will be spent on maintenance, routine work duties, and repeating tasks. This leaves only 20% available for more important things like action steps toward goals, high Return on Investment tasks, ideas, and true relaxation. (Quadrant II of the time management matrix at Priorities) That is why it is critical to use that 20% of time that remains effectively.

Too often, the remaining 20% of the day looks like this:


Ineffective use of free time

80% of it is spent on time wasters: trivia, escape activities, mindless tv viewing. This is what ineffective time use looks like.

The goal of productivity is to use the amount of free time that is available to us to achieve the results we desire. That means using the remaining 20% of the day more like this:


Effective use of free time

80% of it is spent on the important things, and only 20% on time wasters. Remember to Make Today Count!


See also: Pareto Principle (or 80/20 Rule) at Asian Efficiency and How to 80/20 Your Life from Mark Manson.


I seek to create order from the chaos of complex information. Join me at the Daily PlanIt to gain insights, inspiration, and information to increase skills for a better life. I unlock the power of teaching reading with phonics in the pursuit of literacy at In my spare time I explore books and movies, often choosing titles available on both screen and page.

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One comment on “Pareto Principle Illustrated
  1. […] 20 percent of discretionary time on goal-related activities that yield 80 percent results. See also The Pareto Principle Illustrated and Measuring Productivity. Share this:ShareEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

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