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Peas, Pareto and Clipping Cat Nails!

Updated: May 18, 2021

It's a beautiful day in 19th Century Italy! In his home garden, Vilfredo Pareto is picking peas. He noticed that about 20% of the pea plants gave him about 80% of the peas.

For most of us, this would have been a passing 'would you look at that!' moment; but Pareto being as 'woke' as he was... back in the day... began to contemplate the concept of 'uneven distribution.'

Let’s apply this to modern day life, and tell me how many of these ring true to you:

  • You wear 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time

  • 80% of victories in team sports are generated by 20% of the players in the team

  • 20% of criminals commit 80% of the crimes

  • 80% of your ‘social likes' come from 20% of your posts

Well, Pareto and his peas have certainly changed the way many of us as individuals and organizations look at problems. Additionally, the Pareto Analysis is a great tool in deciding where to invest your time, money, and effort.

The 80/20 rule is fascinating. This is the universal truth about the correlation between input and output. Basically, you need to be on the lookout for the 20% or small things that give you the biggest results!

Yes, this rule will help you analyze your goals and tasks and help you manage your time more effectively. The 80/20 rule is so versatile that we, at Assistants4Hire, use it to help our clients manage their tasks, time, investment, and happiness... yes, happiness... more effectively!

It all begins when you book a consult call with MerriLyn, and she sends you over a

‘Business Assessment’ Form. She will have you list out all of your daily tasks, weekly tasks, and monthly tasks.

Then, she will ask you to rate these tasks on a scale of 1-5, where 5 means 'you love it'… and 1 means 'you love it as much as clipping your cat's nails' (or dog – we love them all!)

Finally, she will ask you to list the amount of time you spend on these tasks.

When you work over this process with MerriLyn, you will soon find that you spend 80% of your time completing tasks that add 20% or less value to your organization.

So how do you 80/20 your work? Here are 4 simple steps…

  1. Make a task list

  2. Identify the top 2 or 3 tasks that really drive results (Do more of this)

  3. Look at the others and be ruthless in eliminating tasks that don't add value (automate, outsource, delegate, or pause)

  4. And repeat!

In addition to ‘Pareto-ing’ your To-Do Lists, what more can you do to ensure your 20% of effort yields 80% results?

  • Know your circadian rhythm or energy cycle. This will help you triangulate when you are most productive.

  • Do not give in to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) – create blocks of uninterrupted work and tune out all distractions, including your Slack, inbox, and phone.

  • Delegate or hand over the menial tasks – that is what we (Assistants4Hire) are here for!

  • Take time off to "Do What You Love" while "We Do The Rest!" Everyone needs time to recharge.

Do you want to 'Pareto' your To-Do List? Book a call with MerriLyn and harness your 80/20 today!

Want to learn more about our business and what type of services we provide? 

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Written by Tatum De Souza

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