80/20 Thinking

No doubt you have heard of the “80/20 rule.” Probably even talked about it a few times without  realizing how impactful this economic principle really is if applied to day to day life and business.

First of all, a brief overview.  This is a principle that was discovered and articulated by Vilfredo Pareto (hence the other name for this – “the Pareto Principle”) in 1895. He discovered that society seemed to be divided into two distinct categories; the top 20% he called “the vital few” and the bottom 80% he referred to as “the trivial many.” He later found that it applied to much of day to day business and economics in that 20% of one’s activities produced 80% of your results or that 20% of your customers yielded 80% of your revenue and so forth.

So how can we apply this to our own day to day challenges? One simple approach is to divide your tasks into ABCDE Tasks:

A = Something you must do…serious negative consequences if you do not complete these tasks…these are the 20% that yield the 80%

B = Things that you should do…consequences somewhat negative if not completed, but more uncomfortable…not serious

C = Things that are nice to do, but typically have no consequences

D = Candidates for DELEGATION

E = ELIMINATE…Eliminate everything you can so that you can spend more time in A and B

Another way to analyze this is from the point of view of what you are worth, or, your hourly value. For example, if your time is worth $150 per hour, should you be spending it doing administrative work versus reaching out to clients, sphere of influence, following up on open house contacts?  Are you working on the vital few tasks that will result in the highest return on investment or are you working on the 80% – the Trivial Many?

Think about this next time you are organizing your day so you can be the most productive in order to accomplish your goals!


Written by johnlusinkcoach

John Lusink, Regional Vice President, Canada Brokerage Operations/Broker, eXp Realty Of Canada, Inc.. A REALTOR® for over 30 years, Mr. Lusink has served in a variety of positions in both commercial and residential real estate from Business Owner to Broker and from Trainer/Coach to Marketing Manager. In addition to previously serving on TREB’s Professional Standards Committee, Mr. Lusink contributed to the Real Estate Council of Ontario’s Discipline and Appeals Committee for five years. Most recently, Mr. Lusink completed a second consecutive term as Chair of TREB’s Government Relations Committee and has been a Director for the Toronto Real Estate Board for the past six years. A Certified Commercial Investment Member for more than a decade, he is also a Certified Business Coach, a Seller Representative Specialist (SRS), Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) designee and trainer, as well as a Council of Real Estate Broker Managers (CRB) designee and an FRI.

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