How to Apply the Pareto Principle to Your To-Do List
We like to think our to-do lists are efficient, but at the end of the day we still feel unproductive.
The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that "20% of your activities account for 80% of your results".
If you have a to-do list with 10 items, 2 of them will turn out to be worth more than the other eight.
Work isn’t distributed equally, so you need to focus more on the things that matter most.
Your to-do list should reflect your priorities and take into account the effort needed.
Here‘s how to 80/20 your to-do list:
Step 1: Assign a Number to Effort
Pick a task and think of the amount of effort involved.
Number it from 1 to 10, with 1 requiring the least amount of effort.
Repeat for all the items.
Step 2: Assign a Number to Impact
Now, consider the potential positive results from each task.
Label these in the same way, with 10 being the biggest impact.
Step 3: Rank Your Tasks
Divide the amount of effort by the potential results.
This is your new priority ranking to more effectively manage time and increase results.
Those that deliver the greatest results with the least effort are complete first. Others that require more effort with little results can be postponed or removed from your to-do list.