You hear about the 80/20 rule, but do you really know what it means.

I never really heard it before I entered the Entrepreneurial world, but the more I study it and have it explained, the more it takes effect and meaning. You can use it in all aspects of life and business.   To be productive and help market your product and share what is valuable.  You don’t just want to be creating static.

What is the 80/20 rule and where did it come from? Then, how do we want to apply it in our work and marketing to help us in our everyday business efforts.

What is the 80 20 Law

Basically it is: “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion”.   To break that down and explain, listen up…

If you’re into productivity and most of us are if we work for ourselves, you’ll know this proverb as Parkinson’s Law. This statement was made by Cyril Northcote Parkinson, the famous British historian and author, in 1955 – first appearing as the opening line in an article for The Economist and later becoming the focus of one of Parkinson’s books, Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit of Progress.


To dive in deep.  Here is an article for more study.

“Parkinson’s Law – work expands to fill the time available for its completion – means that if you give yourself a week to complete a two-hour task, then (psychologically speaking) the task will increase in complexity and become more daunting so as to fill that week. It may not even fill the extra time with more work, but just stress and tension about having to get it done. By assigning the right amount of time to a task, we gain back more time and the task will reduce in complexity to its natural state.”

There is a thought that I want you to ponder on….  did you ever wait till the last-minute to finish an assignment in school or a proposal at work?   How long were you given to do it, yet you waited for what?  It really only took you a short time to actually get it done.  So, actually you would be able to assign a time limit of one minute to a task and the task would become simple enough to complete within that minute.

But Parkinson’s Law is exactly that – an observation, no magical powers. It works because people give tasks longer than they really need, sometimes because they want some ‘leg room’ or buffer, but usually because they really don’t know how long the task takes to complete.

People don’t become fully aware of how quickly some tasks can be completed until they test this principle. Think again about an unwritten rule of “work harder, not smarter”?

Let’s look at a few ways you can apply Parkinson’s Law to your life, get your to-do list checked off quicker and spend less of the work day filling in time just to look busy, or have more time to pursue other things. This is relevant whether you work in an office or at home, since “work harder, not smarter” is a cultural idea that many individuals fall for even when nobody’s supervising their work.

Here is a great article on how to apply the 80/20 law into your daily work.

Ok, so let’s experiment with Parkinson’s Law by squeezing your deadlines down to the bare minimum in many areas of your life. Just be conscious of the line between ‘bare minimum’ and ‘not enough time’ – what you’re aiming for is a job well done in less time, not a disaster that’s going to lose you employment or clients.

Now the 80 20 Rule

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) says that, for many events, “roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes”. Pareto developed the principle by observing that about 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas. Not sure if you have ever analyzed your pea pods before, I certainly haven’t.

It is also a common rule of thumb in business; e.g., “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.”   

The original observation came from the population and wealth. Pareto noticed that 80% of Italy’s land was owned by 20% of the population. He then carried out surveys on a variety of other countries and found to his surprise that a similar distribution applied.

In software usages

In the computer science and engineering control theory, Microsoft noted that by fixing the top 20% of the most-reported bugs, 80% of the related errors and crashes in a given system would be eliminated.

In sports and Recreation

It is said that about 20% of sportsmen participate in 80% of big competitions and out of them, 20% win 80% of the awards. This could also be applied to teams in many popular games.

“The Pareto principle has also been applied to training, where roughly 20% of the exercises and habits have 80% of the impact and the trainee should not focus so much on a varied training. This does not necessarily mean eating heartily or going to the gym are not important, just that they are not as significant as the key activities.”

Occupational health and safety

Occupational health and safety professionals use the Pareto principle to underline the importance of hazard prioritization. Assuming 20% of the hazards account for 80% of the injuries, and by categorizing hazards, safety professionals can target those 20% of the hazards that cause 80% of the injuries or accidents. Alternatively, if hazards are addressed in random order, a safety professional is more likely to fix one of the 80% of hazards that account only for some fraction of the remaining 20% of injuries.

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less

Applying the 80 20 application

Now to use this in marketing and sharing your product without being spammy and pushy.  So when you are sharing things on your Facebook wall or through twitter, if you want to increase your followers and not get them running from you.  

Marketing Investment

One application relates to how money is spent on advertising and other marketing campaigns. In general, 20 percent of marketing messages produce 80 percent of your campaign results. Understanding which of your investments produce the greatest results lets you eliminate some of the costs associated with less productive techniques. This improves your marketing efficiency and returns.

Product Mix

From a product perspective, 80 percent of a typical company’s revenue is derived from 20 percent of its products or services. These products can be referred to as cash cows since they drive much of the results.


One of the most useful applications of the 80/20 rule in marketing relates to profits. A typical business earns approximately 80 percent of its profits from the top 20 percent of its customer base. With this in mind you focus on maintaining relationships with these top customers. Loyalty and frequency programs are intended to offer the best value and experiences to customers who provide the best results.   If they know, like and trust you they will keep buying from you.

Living the 80/20 Way: Work Less, Worry Less, Succeed More, Enjoy More

Sharing and posting

If you have ever had a mentor say that your shares and posts you only have 20% of with a link or a sales ad.   The other 80 should be lifestyle or personal.  

Now that you know what the 80 20 law and rule are, you can see why the Entrepreneur world and other great companies use this in everything that they do.


P.S. Have you ever wondered or thought that you needed a change or wanted to start down your own path, yet didn’t know how?  I have a great step by step program for you that won’t let you down.  Come and see how your Journey can Aim you in a new direction and Reclaim a part of you that has been hiding for so long.

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