A GPS System for Your Time
Using Pareto's Principle for Time Management
Whenever I get in the car during rush hour, I always use my phone's navigation app to route me home as quickly as possible. It's an odd instinct when you think about it. I wonder how many times in the last six years I've left work and driven home from the same parking lot. The truth is that I know several ways home, but I never know which one will be the most efficient on any given day due to traffic or construction in the city. Since a single choice can add as much as 15 minutes to my 10-mile commute, I always double-check my route before setting out.
Using GPS in this way makes me think of time-management strategies like the 80/20 rule or Pareto’s Principle. According to Pareto's Principle, roughly 80% of results come from roughly 20% of our efforts. In other words, we waste a lot of time on tasks that aren't leading us any closer to our goals. This can be avoided by devoting less time and energy to or outsourcing the less-important tasks in favor of focusing on the essential few. Pareto’s Principle teaches us to prioritize and avoid letting valuable time slip through our fingers mindlessly. It is a useful tool for anyone looking to optimize their productivity when they feel overwhelmed by the demands on their time.
Pareto's Principle can be viewed as a GPS system for time management, allowing us to more precisely and quickly reach our destinations. By pinpointing the most important turns, we can save valuable time and get where we need to go more efficiently.