You have probably heard about the 80 20 principle before, if not it isn’t very difficult to understand. Simply put this principal means that 80% of the results in any area of life comes from 20% of the actions.
While the percentage points may not always equal 20% and 80% the basic principle remains the same in nearly every aspect of life.
• The Top 10% of people own 85% of the money
• The Top 20% of sales people make over 80% of sales
• The Top 1.5% of languages are spoken by 90% of the world
• The Top 20% of Workers Produce 80% of the Results
• And so on
It is one of the simple patterns that we see again and again in our world. The 80 20 principle can be used to get people worked up and angry or it can be used to benefit yourself and improve your own life. If used correctly the 80 20 principle can help you live a happier life with less work and more results.
Let me give you an example of how I used it to see extraordinary results.
How The 80 20 principle Changed My Life
The first website I ever created is lost in cyberspace somewhere (if it is even still around). The second website I created with the hopes of writing articles and having people naturally visit my site through the search engines.
After working my butt off for a year and creating 368 pages for the site I was seeing about 150 people visit it each day. I got some traffic coming to my site, but it was hardly enough to justify all of the work I put into it.
It made me feel like a loser seeing as how I spent all this time working on a site that really wasn’t taking off while at the same time I was hearing stories about others who would create a 50 page site and start seeing 1000s of people visiting it every day.
I was trying to create a business, but only succeeded in creating a hobby. It wasn’t hopeless though, with the use of the 80 20 principle everything would change.
Up until now I was really shooting in the dark and hoping I hit something. The good news is after trying different things I finally got lucky. Most of the pages I wrote for my site would be found through the search engines maybe once or twice in a month.
But one page put the rest of the site to shame. Each month between 150-300 people would come to my site through this 1 article I wrote months ago. I still remember a month where only 804 people visited my site from Google and 210 of those came to my site because of this one article.
In other words this one article was sending me 26% of my visitors from Google. Going by that number I would have needed to create about 95 regular pages to see the same results that this one page was giving me.
At the time I already knew about the 80 20 principle and I figured there had to be a reason why this page was producing most of the results. There had to be something the page had that the other pages on my site didn’t.
I knew that if I could only find out why this page had worked and reproduce it, I would be able to actually see the kind of success I wanted. Finally I did it. I learned some of the reasons why people liked it so much and why people were visiting it.
Once more I was able to reproduce it. Not only did it make things a lot easier on me, but I actually started to see the kind of results I wanted. Roughly one year later that site went from having 150 visitors a day to more than 3,000 visitors a day and I didn’t have to work so much on the site and could let it grow by itself.
The strategy I used there was incredibly simple. I looked for the 20% of things that were causing 80% of the results and then copied those top 20%. Or in my case I looked for the top 0.3% of the pages that were giving me 26% of the results and focused on them.
Using the 80 20 principle In Your Own Life
The great thing about the 80 20 principle is that it can be used in just about every area of life. You just have to look around and observe the world.
What are the 20% of things you do that give you 80% of your happiness? Have 20% of your actions produced 80% of your friends and relationships in life? If you have a business, do 20% of your customers generate 80% of your profits?
The easiest and best way to use the 80 20 principle is to start looking at your actions and your results. You will inevitably find that some of your actions produce a lot more results then other actions. Take this as a learning point, start to focus on things that do seem to lead you to more results and maybe walk away from things that do not produce you very many results.
When you focus on only the most important things in your life you will find that you can work a lot less and accomplish a lot more. As you apply it to other areas of your life it will help you to grow and to become the kind of person you truly wish to be in life.
Of course if you ignore it you are only wasting your time shooting in the dark and doing things that you think will help you. In the same way 1 extraordinary page on my site produced as much as 95 regular pages on that same site we all have things that we do that are producing us little to no results and at the same time we all do things that are producing us extraordinary results. The goal is to separate them and use it to improve our lives as a whole.
So, now for the big question, examine your life and ask yourself. “What are the 20% of things I do now that are giving me 80% of the results and how can I do more of them?”