Pareto's rule: More with less effort

In a world overwhelmed by endless tasks and limited time, the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, becomes a powerful helper. The Pareto Rule was named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto.

This late 19th-century rule describes an uneven balance between cause and effect, expense and outcome, or effort and reward. The basic statement of the Pareto rule is that 80 % effects come from 20 % causes. In other words, a small part of the inputs (causes) is usually responsible for most of the results (effects). This rule can be applied in many different areas, perhaps more than one might think.

The following lines will help you understand the Pareto concept, see its applications in different areas of life, and find out how it can help optimize our productivity and success.

What Paret is all about

The Pareto Principle revolves around the idea that only a small portion of our efforts or resources produce most of our desired results. This principle can be applied to almost all aspects of life, including business, time management, personal development and even relationships. This is how he defines it, for example Wikipedia.

For illustration, let's use a scenario from the business world. According to the Pareto principle, approximately 80 % of the company's profit comes from just 20 % of its customers. This means that by identifying and focusing on these 20 important %s, you can more effectively allocate your resources and thereby maximize your profitability.

When it comes to time management, the Pareto Principle suggests that 80 % of our achievements come from 20 % of our activities. By identifying and prioritizing those key tasks that produce the greatest impact, we can make significant progress toward our goals while minimizing time wasted on less important activities.

Pareto pitfalls in practice

Of course, it is easy to read, but in practice it is not so simple. In my experience, finding the 20 %s is the most problematic. How to do it? Data and analytics will help if you like hard numbers. If you are focused more on software, then you simply need to experiment, try and search. The way will show itself. Do not worry. As with everything, you need to take the first step.

Another thing that Paret can't do without is the art of saying no. If one says YES to something, it means NO to something else. Specifically, 20 % yes, 80 % no. It's not easy, but it can be done. Again, the main thing is to gather courage and start trying to refuse and not be a yes-man. Despite a lot of small YES things, you may miss some important activity that you no longer have the capacity for.

Examples of use in practice

Business: The firm realizes that 80 % customer complaints are related to only 20 % of its products. By addressing these key issues, a company can significantly increase customer satisfaction and retention, ultimately increasing its overall success.

Personal Finance: Using the 80/20 rule, a person can quickly find that 80 % of their spending comes from just 20 % spending habits. By limiting unnecessary spending in these crucial 20 %s, you can save more, invest wisely and achieve greater financial stability.

Health and Fitness: Research shows that 80 % fitness results are the result of 20 % exercise and diet choices. By focusing on these key exercises and maintaining a healthy diet, individuals can make significant progress toward their fitness goals without wasting time on ineffective exercise.

Project management: 80 % problems can often be caused by 20 % errors.

It is important to note that Pareto's rule is not a hard and fast rule and 80/20 ratios are approximate rather than exact. This principle serves primarily to illustrate that there is an uneven balance between inputs and outputs in many different situations. For example, when I once really consistently measured my daily tasks, the real ratio was 70/30. Only 3 activities out of 10 had an interesting impact.


The Pareto Principle serves as a powerful tool for optimizing productivity and achieving more performance with less effort. By realizing that a small portion of our inputs produce the majority of desired results, we can prioritize our efforts, allocate resources efficiently, and make significant strides toward success.

The Pareto principle offers valuable insights and strategies for achieving greater efficiency and productivity, whether it's business, personal life or time management. Adopting this principle can lead to a more focused, purposeful and successful life. So why not start applying the Pareto Principle today and unlock your true potential?