Using Pareto’s Law

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Working effectively means deciding the relative priorities of different tasks. Obvious perhaps, and of course you may say some things are clearly more important than others. But it is very easy to underestimate just how much this concept influences what you need to do, indeed just how much it influences your inherent effectiveness.

Many years ago, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto recognized the truism that carries his name and that is now more commonly called the 80/20 rule. It links cause and effect in a ratio and, although this is not represented absolutely accurately in real life, an approximate 80/20 ratio is consistently found in many business activities, sometimes with a precision that is considerable. This means that for instance:

- 20 percent of a company’s customers are likely to produce 80 percent of its revenue.

- 20 percent of factory errors are likely to cause 80 percent of quality rejects.

And it applies specifically in terms of issues relating directly to time:

- 20 percent of meeting time results in about 80 percent of decisions made.

- 20 percent of items to read that pass across your desk produce 80 percent of the information you need in your work.

SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT is dependent on A Time-Aware Team

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