Optimize Easily your Well-being with the 80/20 rule Approach

Jun 7, 2023 | Business & Life Advice

Happiness, the feeling of positivity, really is the foundation of productivity.

Miguel McKelvey

Everyone deserves to have a happy and fulfilled life. Take control now of your well-being by applying the simple yet powerful 20/80 Rule to your life. This article shows how to optimize your well-being in 3 simple steps with the 80/20 rule – also called the Pareto Principle.  In a hurry to hack your happiness? Take the shortcut here.

What is the 80/20 Rule or Pareto Principle?

The 80/20 Rule or Pareto Principle states that about 80% of the results are driven by 20% of the effortsNumbers put aside, the Pareto Principle merely means that – in life – a minority of actions explain most of the outcomes. The 80/20 Rule helps highlight the appropriate tasks and activities to focus on from a logical perspective. Beyond business and marketing, the 80/20 Rule can be used to maximize happiness and well-being in a self-improvement context.

Optimise your wellbeing with the 80/20 Rule

Does the Pareto split has to be always 80/20 or sum up to 100% all the time?

 While the 80/20 repartition is often observed, it doesn’t mean it’s always the case. It can be 70/30 for example. The 2 numbers don’t need to add up to 100 either. For instance, you may have 20% of your products that generate 90% of your sales. It doesn’t really matter. It’s all about the mindset.

What is the 80/20 Mindset?

It’s all about working smarter, not harder and getting things done by relentlessly leveraging the small efforts and activities that lead to the most considerable positive or negative outcomes.

How do I use the 80/20 Rule or Pareto Principle to Maximise Happiness and well-being?

A Pareto approach for happiness and well-being is, concisely, prioritizing the 20 percent of your activities that contribute positively to most of your happiness level. An optimal way to maximize your well-being- and happiness with a Pareto mindset is described from now on.

Maximize your Well-being with a 80/20 Mindset

Maximise Well-Being, Happiness and Self-Accomplishment with the 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule for well-being is all bout taking control of your life with optimal project prioritization and execution of the right actions. 

Suppose you are stuck in your daily routine with your nose close to the grindstone as you work hard to achieve personal and professional goals. In that case, you may feel overwhelmed, unfulfilled, and maybe depressed!  If you are in that situation or simply if you identify yourself in the list below, it is time to work smarter, not harder!  It’s never too late to implement healthy habits to maximize your happiness.

  • I’m running in circles.
  • I’m on a spinning wheel.
  • I do not see any results.
  • I don’t know where to start.
  • I’m not getting anything done.
  • I’m tired of doing this tedious task.
  • I don’t know where it’s going to stop.
  • I have a limited amount of time, but so much to do.
  • I would rather be doing something more manageable.

Adopt an 80/20 Mindset: Set some priorities to maximise your wellness with an 80/20 Rule approach. Instead of juggling with multiple activities but achieving nothing and feeling empty,  pour your efforts and energy into the most meaningful activities, those that will maximise your well-being.  This fact-based approach to life to maximise your wellbeing is what the 80/20 Rule or Pareto Principle approach is all about.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate” – Carl Jung

The 80/20 Rule or Pareto Principle approach for Well-Being

To Optimize your Well-being with an 80/20 Rule Approach, Simply Follow the 3-step Process Below:

1) List your real-life examples where you can identify a 80/20 pattern
2) Classify these real-life examples into the following categories: NEGATIVE / NEUTRAL / POSITIVE
3) Take actions based upon the prior classification

1) List your real-life examples where you can identify an 80/20 pattern

Of course, it doesn’t need to be an exact 80/20 split, but you get the idea 🙂  Here are a few real-life examples of the 80/20 Rule from a well-being perspective, assuming that you also consider financial aspects in your wellness assessment:

  • only 20% of your social interactions may lead to 80% of the overall satisfaction you gain from socialising
  •  20% of your activities may impact negatively 80% of your stress level
  • 80% of your income may come from 20% of your income-generating activities
  • 80% of your non-necessary expenses are due to 20% of your leisure activities

A quick aside regarding the financial aspects in your wellness assessment.

    “It doesn’t matter how much money you make; it’s where you feel happy.”

    Ken Griffey Jr.

    While this well-being quote may suggest that in life, everything should be about happiness, others may think that money is still essential in the world we live in. After all, most of us still have to pay for our bills and basic needs such as food and accommodation. Such material aspects may contribute to your well-being. More likely, money might still be essential to cover your basic needs in your situation. If so, please include them in your overall well-being assessment to find an optimal tradeoff.

    2) Classify these real-life examples into the following categories: NEGATIVE / NEUTRAL / POSITIVE

    • Negative →  Activities that put your mood down or stress you out!
    • Neutral  → Activities that  are somehow neutral, but that you cannot avoid in your current situation
    • Positive → Activities that make you feel good!

    3) Take actions based upon the prior classification

    • Negative → Stop doing: do not do or delegate
    • Neutral → Keep going but establish and execute a plan to do less of this over time
    • Positive → Keep going and enjoy! Do more if possible! 

    80/20 Rule / Pareto Principle Template to Maximise Well-Being  and Happiness


    ⇒ Stop doing: do not do or delegate

    • 80% of the time spent into the house chores accounts only for 20%of my to-do-list: I hate ironing!
    • 20% of my clients are responsible for 80% of the problems: they stress me out as they are never satisfied with my deliveries. They always ask for more, and I tend to overwork because of them.
    • 80% of my frustrations arise from my social media usage: I get jealous of some of my friends who seem to be more successful than me.


    ⇒ Keep going but establish and execute a plan to do less of this overtime

    • 80% of my income comes from 2 loyal customers who account only for 20% of my client base: they pay very well, but they are not always easy to work with! Unfortunately, I still need their money; I have a mortgage!


    ⇒ Keep going and enjoy! Do more if possible!

    • 20% of my social interactions lead to 80% of my overall satisfaction. I’ve noticed that the social interactions I enjoy the most are those done in small groups or on a one-to-one basis. I should do less « group » activities!
    • 80% of the activities I enjoy require no budget or a limited one. I love simple outdoor things such as walking by the beach or having a nice latte at my favorite cafés around the corner.

    Last Tips to Optimize your Well-Being with a Pareto Approach

    People change over time, and so do their aspirations. This Pareto Analysis of your life is not meant to stay static. Reassess your situation regularly with a Pareto Principle Approach, and adjust your priorities accordingly. This is how your fulfillment and well-being will be optimal.

    This Pareto Principle approach to well-being was inspired by the author Tim Ferriss. He wrote about it in all three books: The 4-Hour Work Week, The 4-Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef. The template adapts the 80/20 concept he presented in The 4-Hour Work Week. Tim Ferris might have a different approach to optimizing well-being with the Pareto Principle. In this article, we offer our personal view 🙂 Please note that the links above are affiliate links: we may earn a small commission on any purchase made on Amazon.

    Life is very short. Try to enjoy your ‘now.’ Many people think that when they become such-and-such then they will be happy. I personally don’t think it is healthy to postpone your happiness. My message is, ‘Enjoy the moment.’  – Adina Porter

    Conclusion and Suggestions to Optimize your Well-being

    Happiness is in little things, and that’s precisely the reason why you can trick your brain into being happier.

    In your daily life, you may find minor improvements here and there that harm no one but benefit yourself: a sweet spot technically called a Pareto-dominated situation (by opposition to a Pareto Optimal Situation). These improvements do not make anyone worse off: take advantage of such configurations as much as you can, sometimes good things are free

    If optimizing your wellbeing is the key, there are several actions you can take in life to be happier and maximize your wellbeing; applying the Pareto Principle to your life is one of them.  Another one is to systematically adopt a positive view on life: the saying that “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” derived from Murphy’s Law is just an adage.  It is your responsibility to take action to be more in control of your life.

    You can also adopt a holistic approach and  Pareto your Time And Energy to optimize the trade-off between productivity and wellbeing. Finally, for broader advice on how to maximize your wellness and fulfillment in your life (career, finance, happiness, and relationships), I do recommend the excellent free resources of Definitely, a place to go, especially if you’re in your twenties something!



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