A hundred and twenty years ago, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto noticed that 20% of the pea plants in his garden generated 80% of the healthy pea pods. He then looked at wealth distribution in Italy and found that 80% of the land was owned by 20% of the population. He investigated different industries and found that roughly 80% of the effects came from 20% of the causes. This realization eventually became known as The Pareto Principle.

Twenty years ago, Microsoft learned that 80 percent of the errors and crashes in Windows and Office were caused by 20 percent of the entire pool of bugs detected and rolled out initiatives to address those twenty percent.

Today, can you apply this principle to increase your productivity and results?

In an article on time management, Harvard Business Review labelled it “The Unimportance of Practically Everything.”

“We start scanning our environment for what is really essential. We eagerly eliminate the non-essentials. We say no to 1,000 projects in order to say yes to the one that is exactly what we are looking for” (Greg McKeown, author of the New York Times bestseller Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less).

Writing for Forbes, Kevin Kruse (CEO of LEADx and author of Great Leaders Have No Rules), asks executive to think about “the most important goals of your organization, or boss, and which specific tasks do you need to focus on to align with those goals. Delegate or drop the rest.”

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