The 80/20 Rule: Why you need to start living your life according to the Pareto Principle

What is 80/20?

The Pareto Principle or as it’s more commonly known, the 80/20 rule, was devised by Joseph Juran in 1896. In its most basic terms, it argues that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. This can be observed throughout all walks of life – economics, science, software and even sports & exercise.

One interesting thing I’d like to focus on is exercise. In exercise 20% of your exercises are going to get you 80% of the gains (think compound movements) and the extra 80% will add in your 20% extra to the gains (think isolation movements and pump training). This shows us how wasting time with our inefficient high rep, no weight progression training methods will not be the exercises getting us results, but the constant progressive overload of muscles with lower rep strength-based moves are.

What benefits does it hold?

In short, the benefits you can reap from applying the 80/20 rule to every aspect of your life are;

  • Allows you to funnel your approach and focus your full energy into a task.
  • Lets you discard pointless fluff in your life that is holding you back unnecessarily.
  • Gives perspective to your actions and lets you evaluate what’s working and what’s not.
  • Gives you more free time to address other areas of your life and helps you develop as a person at an accelerated rate.

Situations you can apply it to

If you’re trying to build a business do you know what’s handy? You guessed it, the 80/20 rule. 80% of your results come from 20% of what you do. If you’re starting a blog and you’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, RSS, Tumblr – whatever, then you’re going to spread yourself so thinly that you forget to focus on your core content. You should focus on where your main traffic is coming from (likely Twitter and Instagram) and roll with them. This will be where your 80% is coming from. Once you stop focusing on sharing your content on every platform possible, you can spend more time perfecting that content so it’s worthy to actually be shared with your audience.

Books to give you a complete overview

There’s only really one book that you will need to read on this topic and that’s The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch. This book gives a comprehensive overview of 80/20 and shows you how exactly you can implement it into your daily life.

There’s been lots of 80s and 20s in this post but the basic message is cut out the ineffective fluff and focus on what’s really important. Give Richard’s book a read and try to apply the principle fully into your life to reap the benefits.


6 thoughts on “The 80/20 Rule: Why you need to start living your life according to the Pareto Principle

      1. Okay.

        In terms of exercise, your compound movements are what’s going to get you the biggest results.

        Legs – Squats, Romanian deadlifts & Leg press.

        Shoulders and chest – Overhead barbell press, Bench press & Incline Bench press.

        Back – Deadlifts, Barbell rows & pull ups.

        Arms – Chin ups, Dips, Close grip bench press & Barbell curls.

        These sorts of exercises are usually the best for eliciting the greatest muscle growth in natural trainees.

        Hope that helps Reg.



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