The Pareto principle (a.k.a. 80/20 rule) suggests that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. Sticks and Hacks would agree that 80% of results on the course, good or bad, come from the short game and putting. The shots taken in the short game represent far less than 20% of the distance covered on a golf course, but the results of these shots often dictate 80% or more of success.

The 80/20 rule has been applied to sports, health, wealth and business. Here we address three 80/20 rules commonly found in our work. Increasing your awareness around these 80/20 rules at work will provide for more productivity and efficiency.

80/20 People Rule

Recognizing that one out of five people in your organization is responsible for 80% of the results in your organization may be a tough pill to swallow. If this 80/20 rule holds true in your work, look for ways to create more balance across the team.

One way to more evenly distribute productivity across your organization is to tie specific metrics to each team member. Assigning metrics to individuals will create visibility and measurability around individual productivity. The visibility will allow you to identify individuals not pulling their weight.

80/20 Meeting Rule

One out of every five hours of meetings is responsible for 80% of the results from all meetings. Translation: 60-70% of meetings are a complete waste of time.  If you find that you spend too much time wasted in meetings, here are three tips for improving or reducing your meetings.

  1. Only 20% of your meetings should last more than 30 minutes
  2. Use a tool like Slack or Trello to collaborate instead of phone calls or meetings
  3. Every meeting must have an agenda with timeframes for each section

Challenging the amount of time and how you spend your time in meetings will create more time for you to spend on activities that will lead to the results you are after.

80/20 Project Days Rule – Procrastination

80% of any project will be completed in the final 20% of the time before the deadline. When given two weeks to complete a project, most project owners will complete 80% of the project in the final three days of the project timeline. One way to combat procrastination is to have project owners prepare a project timeline with key milestones along the way. The milestones create accountability and ensure that the project won’t get pushed to the final days for completion.

When you address the 80/20 rules in your work, you will create more balance. Being mindful that these rules may exist in your work is the first step towards ensuring more balance across your teams, meetings, and projects.