The 80/20 Rule

January 28, 2008 at 5:31 pm Leave a comment

So the last thing I wrote about was setting goals and that is where making your life plan a reality starts to work for you.  So what I want to write about today is the 80/20 principle.  If you are unfamiliar with the 80/20 principle it’s originated from an Italian economist who said that 20% of the people in Italy owned 80% of the wealth.  It has since been given hundreds of other meanings and if you Google it I’m sure you will find thousands of applications where the 80/20 rule applies.  I try and apply it to my life plan as well and I may be taking it out of context slightly but hopefully you will understand what I mean behind it all no matter what you want to call it.

What I did is I described the things I do that do not produce my desired end state, the 80/20 side of the equation for me.  These are the 80% of the things I do but I am only getting 20% of my desired end state out of them.  Then I listed out the things I need to do in order to reach my goals, this is the 20/80 side of the equation for me, these are the 20% of things I do that produce for me the 80% of things I want to accomplish.  Now like I said I probably need a better description than what I have but this is what I am using for now.  Some of the things on my 20/80 list are things that I don’t do at all but I need to do in order to accomplish my goals.  So just because they are on this list doesn’t mean I actually do them.  Then I try to minimize the 80/20 list and maximize the 20/80 list.  So things on my 80/20 list are things such as playing video games, watching TV, and eating fastfood.  Then the things on my 20/80 list are such as, doing schoolwork, maintaining a clean apartment, cooking healthy dinners, going to the gym.  The items on the 20/80 list directly point to my goals, doing schoolwork enables me to finish my master’s degree.  Maintaining a clean apartment allows me to have friends over every other weekend to play games and eat snacks.  Cooking healthy dinners and going to the gym directly affects my desired weight loss goals.  The things on the 80/20 list do not help me reach goals but many times hinder me from doing the things that will allow me to reach my goals.  Playing video games instead of doing these other things.  Watching TV instead of <blank>. 

Now, playing video games is very important to me, that allows me to relax and destress after the day.  However I need to make sure that it isn’t what I do as soon as I get home and continue to do well into the evening instead of doing other things.  To do this what I have devised is a checklist.  On the checklist i have the things I want to do on a daily basis.  So every afternoon I go home from work and I get my checklist and go down it making sure I accomplish all the tasks and once I am done I am free to do whatever I want to.  Each item on my checklist has to do with my list and my goals.  If I have established a goal to read a book every month then one my checklist items is to read X pages in my book each afternoon.  Also I need to do dishes, or need to vacuum or dust, there are just a few items on my list each day and then I have things I want to do on a less regular basis.  A goal of mine is to take my fiancee on a romantic date once a month, so I have a monthly checklist that I mark that on.  I just make sure that sometime during the month I am able to check off that item. 

Hopefully I was able to explain what I mean by the 80/20 principle and how it applies to the life plan.  I also briefly hit the idea of making a checklist in order to reach goals on more of a day-by-day basis instead of having these huge overwhelming goals.  This is the last thing I had to write about and finishes up my life plan I have and all the things that it encompasses.  Again I think having a life plan is a very good thing and I hope that you take the time soon to write one out.  As you set goals and see those goals met then you will slowly start to see that what your plan is actually come true for you. 


Entry filed under: personal.

Setting Goals K3B

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