The Pareto Principle
The Pareto Principle

The Good vs. The Best

Overwhelmed with Options?

Have you ever had so many good options that you couldn’t make up your mind … and you ended up doing nothing?

Practice the Art

There is something to be said for doing something rather than nothing — but when we’re able to identify and select the best use of our time, we practice the art of time management at its finest.

The Pareto Principle

Have you heard of the 80/20 Rule? It’s also known as the Pareto Principle. It was discovered in 1896 by Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto.

As Pareto surveyed his garden one day, he noticed that 20% of his pea plants generated 80% of the healthy pea pods. This observation caused him to ponder, “Where else might this 80/20 rule occur?”

And so was born the Pareto Principle. It holds that roughly 80% of your results will come from only 20% of your efforts.

Discernment Required

It is important to discern what is merely good versus what is best. For instance, rather than eating that big ugly frog today, perhaps doing your best — that 20% that will produce the greatest results — means devouring a few lesser tasks to build confidence and momentum.

Practical Application

How might your life be transformed if you identified and focused more energy on the 20% responsible for 80% of your productivity?

These questions might help you think more deeply about the Pareto Principle as it applies to specific areas of your life:

  • What are your daily routines?
  • Which of your activities belong to the 20%?
  • Which 20% of your possessions do you use 80% of the time?
  • Which 20% of your exercises account for 80% of your fitness?
  • Which 20% of your foods account for 80% of your nutrition?

The Challenge

Before you begin any task, ask yourself whether it belongs in the top 20% or the bottom 80%. If the answer is the 80%, eliminate it whenever possible.


Time Management Strategies


This is the Part 2 in a blog series based upon the book, Don't Eat That Frog! A Liberating Look at Time Management Strategies. If you missed the introduction, you can read it here.



Don't Eat That Frog! A liberating look at time management strategies