Somewhere in school or on the internet you came across an idea known as “The 80/20 Rule”. The basic concept is that 80% of what you achieve comes from 20% of the time spent.
Thus for practical purposes, 80% of the effort put into anything is largely irrelevant.
If you want to dramatically raise your efficiency, or profitability, it’s a cornerstone principle.
But the crazy thing–and what you may not realize–is that the 80/20 rule has two almost opposite appeals:
- On the one hand it is a statistical observation…. solid, quantitative, “down to business”, reliable.
- On the other hand, it has a soft, qualitative, and almost-mystical side. One that magically crops up everywhere, and one you’ll find in practically everything that makes our lives worthwhile, in business and beyond.
Essentially it’s a matter of focus: What are my strengths, and what do I not do well?
If you identify and accept your own weaknesses, and realize the gap between your weaknesses and other peoples strengths, you can begin to appreciate how dependent you are on other people, and in return strive to help them with the signature strengths you happen to have.
Which takes the whole concept way beyond business and finance, and expands it into relational, emotional, physical, and even spiritual arenas.
Unfortunately, we live in a day and age where folks tend to promote their strengths and totally deny or ignore their weaknesses. (Just look at Facebook if you don’t believe me.)
The problem is denying our weaknesses, or even reducing them, can cut us off from our strengths, and from those of the people around us.
Who knew that the secret to achieving more could depend as much on our ability to identify and accept our biggest weaknesses as it does on harnessing our strongest personal assets?
ANCHOR ON THIS: If the 80/20 Rule is true (and there’s centuries of data to confirm that it is), then 80% of the work you’re doing, the effort you put in, the time you spend… is basically irrelevant. So stop it. Now.