Change Your Life With the 80-20 Rule

Are you ready to make some positive, incredible changes in your life? Then you should definitely read up on the 80-20 rule. It will show you how to use less energy to get more results, completely improving your life. Once you implement the 80-20 rule in all that you do, you won’t feel like you are being pulled in a hundred different directions with no real time for anything. You will accomplish more with ease and grace. Sounds like something you should try right away!

What is the 80-20 Rule?

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The basic idea behind the 80-20 rule is that 20% of your actions result in 80% of the outcomes. The minimum amount of effort usually leads to the majority of the results. This means that 4/5ths of your efforts are irrelevant to the outcome of your life. The 80-20 principle is most often applied to business and economics but can easily be applied to your everyday life.

Who Came Up With the 80/20 Rule?

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An Italian economist named Vilfreso Pareto explored the 80/20 rule in the late 1890s. He noticed a significant wealth disparity among the people of Italy, and when he dug deeper, he found that this spread was common around most countries in the world. The biggest thing he noticed was that 80% of the land was typically owned by just 20% of the population.

The Pareto Principle

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While Pareto’s findings were not widely publicized at the time, an economist named Moses Juran studied what Pareto had observed and found that it applied to more than just wealth. Juran found that the 80/20 rule applied in crime, accidents, and even in manufacturing.

One of his biggest discoveries was in a paper mill factory, where 12% of the factory defects accounted for 80% of the company’s costs. By focusing on that small 12%, the company was able to drastically reduce its costs.

Examples of the 80/20 Rule

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But what are examples of the 80/20 rule in modern-day life? Think of a football game where 20% of the players contribute to 80% of the best plays. Or in a retail store where 20% of the items account for 80% of the sales. And you may find that 80% of your text messages are to just 20% of the contacts in your phone. You may have ten pairs of shoes in your closet, but you likely wear the same two pairs the majority of the time. Does this sound about right? It definitely does to us!

How to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Your Life

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The biggest point of the 80/20 rule is that sometimes, the smallest things in your life have the biggest impact. Once you identify where you are focusing your energy and pinpoint the major problems in your life, you will likely find a strong correlation. The first step is to focus on your issues and how you spend your energy, and then use the 80/20 principle to fix them! Let us give you a few examples.

How to Manage Your Time

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Try tracking how you spend your time. How do you spend each hour of your day? You may be focusing 80% of your time on something that only brings you a small amount of happiness. You need to refocus your time and spend more hours doing what makes you happy. When you can focus your time better and eliminate the wasted time on unimportant things, life will instantly be better!

In the Office

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When you think about your job in conjunction with the 80/20 rule, you will likely find that you spend 80% of your time at work doing something that only produces 20% of the desired outcome. When you identify the 20% portion of your important and essential job, you can refocus your time and become a better employee.

Declutter Your Home

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When you look around your house, you may discover that only 20% of the items in your home are necessary. We live in a very materialistic world, and you have likely fallen into the common accumulation of clutter without even knowing it! Ask yourself what you truly need in your home and get rid of the rest.


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Of all the stores you shop at, you probably give 80% of your money to the same 20% of stores every month. While it can be okay to spend the bulk of your money in the same place month after month, you may want to consider shopping only at those few stores. You know you will spend the most at these destinations, so just skip the rest! No need to shop around when your money always goes to the same place.

Money Management

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The 80/20 rule can help you drastically reduce your spending by identifying where the majority of your money goes. Instead of spending 80% of your energy shaving pennies off every purchase, focus on the more significant expenses. Consider what big categories you can eliminate from your spending. Maybe you can cut the cord on the cable or start riding your bike to work instead of using a car. Focus on the bigger picture rather than the small, insignificant things.

Relationships with Friends

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We bet that 20% of your friendships equate to 80% of your happiness. Why waste time on the other 80% of your “friends” who do not contribute much to your life? Assess your friendships with an economist’s eye, and you will be surprised by what you discover. You don’t have to completely cut those extra people out of your life, but prioritize your time and how much you invest in those minor friendships.

Stress in Your Life

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Want to reduce the stress in your life? Apply the 80/20 rule! Most of the stress in your life is likely caused by some small annoyances. Identifying these little things that stress you out and drive you crazy will greatly impact your well-being. 80% of your stress is likely caused by 20% of your daily experiences. Avoid these stress triggers as much as possible, and you will be 80% happier.

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