The Powerful 80/20 Principle: How to Achieve More with Less

Aug 22, 2020 | Business & Life Advice

If you haven’t heard about the 80/20 principle, it’s the most helpful concept you can use regarding time management and success. Through this principle, you can effectively save time while doing the necessary work intended, but with less effort. You not only showcase effective time management skills, but you can also attain success through this principle. The 80/20 principle is also known as the Pareto Principle– which is that roughly 20 per cent of your work will yield 80 percent of the results. As mentioned above, it implies less work with more results. In this article, we’ll be talking about a specific book that discusses this remarkable principle- The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch.

What is the 80/20 Principle all about?

The 80/20 principle suggests that even if you spend so much effort doing all your tasks, what will lead you to success is by focusing on the 20 percent of the most significant tasks for your day. For instance, let’s say that you have 10 tasks that you need to finish for the day. Instead of scattering your energy and devoting 80 percent of your energy to finish the majority of the tasks, you should focus on finishing the 2 most significant tasks and pouring your energy on that.

Instead of achieving mediocre results with all the tasks you’ve finished, you’ll instead be achieving extraordinary results because you poured your energy into your significant tasks. Applying this rule in your life will be a game-changer for both your time management skills and your professional life. You’ll be less exhausted, and you’ll feel more productive, despite putting in less work. This is what The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch aims to discuss in his novel.

80/20 Principle: Illustration
80/20 Principle

The Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, suggests that even if you simply choose 2 or a few items to finish in a day, this is far more productive than having your focus scattered on 8 tasks. You see a lot of people procrastinate on doing the top 2 significant items on their list, while they put in their maximum effort with the 80 percent. By doing this, it will keep you further away from success than you realize, and you’ll end up with more exhaustion. This is the most effective principle to apply regarding productivity, time management, and goal setting – which are all essential leadership qualities.

The 20 80 principle to be explained further by the author, will teach you all about priorities and how to focus on what matters. This rule teaches you to have the awareness to see which are your top priorities in your to-do list and to focus on that. Whether you have a business, you’re an employee, or you’re self-employed, the 80/20 principle is a concept that is so significant in your career life. If you’ve been in your career for a long time and you don’t see significant changes, but you’re always over-working, the 80/20 principle may be something you’ve been missing in your life. After all, why would you need to overwork when you can instead focus on the most significant tasks for the day? It’s easy to get your priorities all wrong and we often think something is important, but we fail to see the bigger picture.

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The 80/20 Principle Book For Success

80/20 Principle: The Secret to Success by Achieving More with Less
The Powerful 80/20 Principle: How to Achieve More with Less 1

In his book, Richard Koch tells us how to use the 80/20 Principle as a guiding light to become more successful in business and life in general. The key is to spot the few cases where the results relative to efforts are much greater than usual. With this mindset, we can become so much more efficient in whatever task we want to accomplish.

This is the book you need if you want to effectively apply the 80/20 principle in your life. You’re closer to success and productivity than you think, and this is a well-informed read regarding this principle. You can become so much more productive and efficient after finishing this book as the author, Richard Koch displays a clear knowledge of what the 80/20 principle is all about and why it’s so significant. By giving this book a read, you’ll realize why your strategy isn’t working in your career, and why you need to integrate the 80/20 rule instead.

You can buy the 80/20 Principle book on Amazon by clicking here.

The 80/20 Principle and Priorities

There’s a certain aspect of this book that’s dedicated to precisely why your strategy is wrong and why you should use the 80/20 principle with regards to your business and sales. Through the use of both this book and the principle, you’ll gain clarity on where you’re making the most money or revenue, and why you should focus your 20 percent on that. For instance, regarding your revenue, by figuring out which of your products have the most sales in the past month, you can focus on that instead of focusing on the products with the least sales. This way, your energy and effort are leading you directly to success instead of setting you up to fail.

The 80/20 Principle and Relationships

Contrary to popular belief, the 80/20 principle doesn’t just apply to your professional life, but to all areas of your life- relationships, friendships, and more. By applying the 80/20 principle even in other aspects of your life, you end up feeling less drained than before. Let’s take for instance- relationships. You spend 5 hours with your significant other, but they still feel frustrated that you’re not spending enough time with them. This is where the 80/20 rule can apply. You may be spending 5 hours with them, but your focus is on your phone or elsewhere. You can apply the 80/20 principle even for the quality of your relationships, and this can be a life-changer. The book by Richard Koch can effectively discuss this further on how this principle can be applied to all areas in your life.

The 80/20 Principle and Wealth

We’ve mentioned that the 80/20 rule can affect your success and productivity, but what can this do for your wealth? Whether as an employee or in your business, this rule can multiply your wealth. This book explains in a straightforward and direct manner that this principle is your key to growing your wealth. The 80/20 rule also applies to investment and the author has an enthusiastic approach to having wealth with investment, rather than being a mediocre employee. You can spend all your energy and time working with your regular 9 to 5 job, but the investment can get you further than putting 80 percent of your efforts in your regular job. In applying this in your wealth, you don’t have to become a wage slave for the rest of your life. By applying this life-changing principle, by investing, you’re passively earning more for your future- with the right prospects of risk management. The author has provided a specific section of the book regarding money and investment in applying the 20 80 principle in your life.

The 80/20 Principle and Effort

The thing about working hard is that it doesn’t guarantee results, especially when you’re putting your energy in all the wrong places. We, unfortunately, live in a fast-paced culture that deeply romanticizes being busy and working hard to an extreme. However, working hard isn’t always equal to productivity. This book will teach you the ground-breaking truth of productivity and how to stop feeling guilty of working less. Working hard doesn’t equate to success just like working less doesn’t equate to lazy. Amidst the discussion about time management, this book will give you an insight regarding time management and how it, too, is a counter-productive fallacy. It’s a facade that doesn’t necessarily lead people directly to success. Instead, the 80/20 principle aims to make you realize that you can work less, but be more productive than you were when you were working extremely hard.

The 80/20 Principle and Happiness

In case you were wondering if this book purely talks about business, wealth, and career, it also discusses how you can apply the 80/20 principle to make yourself happy. Everyone wants to be happy- happiness is the primary ingredient with everything we do, whether it’s our jobs or relationships. Just as you apply this principle to focusing your energy on your most essential tasks, you also use this to expand those moments when you’re happy. The novel actively discusses how to keep yourself happy, and this is to expand those moments you’re happy and reduce the moment you aren’t. You have the choice to focus on what matters, and this is what this principle and this book are trying to make you realize. You focus on those moments that make you smile with bliss and joy, and you don’t focus on moments of sadness or frustration. The reason why people tend to have a negative mindset or emotions is they pour 80 percent of their energy into what they feel, rather than attempting to reduce this. In the third part of this book, the author will discuss the seven habits of happiness and the hows and whys of applying the 80/20 principle in this area of your life.

What People Say About the 80/20 Principle Book

The best review is undoubtedly Perry Marshall’s one who read the book several times in depth. Here is a fair extract of his thorough and insightful review:

I’m now reading this book, 13 years later, AGAIN (not sure how many times I’ve cracked it) and it’s still producing new jewels. Yes, you can read 20% of this book and it could still potentially change your life. But if you understand 80/20, you should read that kind of book 5 times and you can be nearly certain that you’ll get 10X your time investment back every single time. […] 


I’ve read a LOT of great books but this one tops the list. It’s been worth many millions of dollars to me in my career.


– Perry Marshall

The Conclusion about The 80/20 Principle Book

The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch is a well-informed and knowledgeable read in applying this rule in your life. You’ll learn how to make this remarkable principle work for your life, and how to make it a game-changer in certain aspects of your life. The important thing is to achieve more by doing less and to focus on what matters – and that’s what the 80/20 principle is all about. You can buy the 80/20 Principle book on Amazon by clicking here.

80/20 Principle: The Secret to Success by Achieving More with Less
The Powerful 80/20 Principle: How to Achieve More with Less 1

The 80/20 Principle and the Data Reality Check

All the benefits of the 80/20 Principle are just thin air if no action is taken. So how can I apply this 80/20 Principle now?

80/20 Principle - "Ideas are cheap, Execution is everything"

To minimize your own bias, or simply if mental calculation is not your cup tea, start by writing down your own data on a spreadsheet.

Your data should be about the situation or issue you want to address. It should be measured by a unique factor to compare apples with apples. Each item (cause) should be associated with its corresponding effect. The effect can be anything numerical like a score (e.g. a grade), an amount (e.g. revenues),  a number (e.g. the number of positive reviews) or something that you can represent with a number (example: 0 for extremely bad – 5 for neutral – 10 for extremely good). Once the dataset is ready, applying the 80/20 Principle consists of building a Pareto Chart or doing a Pareto Analysis and focus on the items (causes) that lead to the most important effects.

Pareto Chart - Visit ParetoAnalysis.Tools for awesome tutorials

As an example, you could have data that represents all your daily activities during the last 100 days and the corresponding level of happiness  you gained from doing them (example: 0 for depressing – 5 for okay – 10 for orgasmic). Then you can either build a Pareto Chart or do a Pareto Analysis to visualize what really matters for you in terms of happiness and focus on the most meaningful activities. 

Below are 3 simple Excel Pareto tutorials showing how you can apply the 80/20 Principle in  Microsoft Excel in a few clicks:

Excel Pareto  Chart - Tutorial
Automated Excel Pareto Analysis - Example
Manual Excel Pareto Analysis - Tutorial

If you prefer building a Pareto Chart in Google Sheet, this tutorial explains to you how to build a Pareto Chart in Google Sheets in a very scalable manner

The 80/20 Principle: Theory, Examples and Tutorials

In conclusion, if you want to learn more details about the 80/20 Principle, we invite you to visit the Frequently Asked Question section of the website. Alternatively, for 80/20 Principle Excel tutorials and other healthy productivity habits, we invite you to visit our blog.


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