As a manager in your organization, you need to make decisions every day. But while making these decisions, do you always have enough information to make the most suitable one? Probably no. This where you can use the 80/20 rule to make decisions. Here’s what the Wikipedia has to say about it:
The principle was suggested by management thinker Joseph M. Juran. It was named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of income in Italy was received by 20% of the Italian population. The assumption is that most of the results in any situation are determined by a small number of causes.
Now that we have some concept about it. Let’s take a look at how it can be used by managers to make day to day decisions.
Identify whats important
Take out a sheet of paper and make a list of what you do on a daily basis. Next circle the ones that produce the best results to achieve your goal. Finally, if you have a reporting person, ask him or her about what is most important for the organization. You can do this for your personal life as well.
Ask a simple question
Whenever you’re faced with a new potential project or task, ask a simple question as decision maker: “Will this task help or hurt my 80% activities?”
Eliminate or delegate
Your project list shouldn’t be filled with items that don’t matter. If an activity isn’t bringing satisfaction or a measurable result, then you should get rid of it. Either pass it along to someone else (delegate or completely eliminate it).
Don’t always add, substitute
Remember, since you are a decision maker, your time is important and limited. If you feel like a new project needs your time and attention, then it should take the place of a low-value activity. Otherwise, if you keep on adding new projects to your list, soon you will find yourself behind a desk full of paperwork.
Practice creative procrastination
When you know a project isn’t an 80% activity, then it’s perfectly fine to put it down on a “someday” list. You’ll delay this action with the understanding that you’ll only do it if it becomes more important later on in your life.
Practicing the 80/20 rule is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. At first, it’ll be difficult to let go of the projects you once thought were important. Eventually, however, you’ll develop an intuitive understanding of what is valuable and what is a waste of your time.