Nowadays, when every penny counts, companies are having to review their processes. So, just like our Scouts bees, who factor in the costs of collection for maximum production at minimum expenditure of energy, businesses need to be more clever to preserve the ability of the organisation to perform by focusing on getting the right things to the right place at the right time in the right quantity to achieve perfect work flow, while minimizing waste and being flexible and able to change.

Have you ever heard about the 80/20 rule? It sounds like a statistic and in some ways it is, but you don’t have to understand statistics to be a believer. Yes it has foundations in economics and yes, it was “proven” using statistical analysis by a man named Pareto, but it is not meant to be understood only by economics professors.

Here’s what 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.’

So what does that mean for you? well it means that:

  • 80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customers
  • 80% of a company’s complaints come from 20% of its customers
  • 80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of the time its staff spend
  • 80% of a company’s sales come from 20% of its products
  • 80% of a company’s sales are made by 20% of its sales staff

Therefore, many businesses have an easy access to dramatic improvements in profitability by focusing on the most effective areas and eliminating, ignoring, automating, delegating or retraining the rest, as appropriate. And this rule also applies to every dimension of business. And that includes time management.

So you need to optimize your effort to ensure that you concentrate as much of your time and energy as possible on high payoff tasks. Ensure that you achieve the greatest benefit possible with the limited amount of time available to you.

80 20 rule