The 80/20 Principle: How I’ve Applied it in my life

In business:

20% of my clients give me 80% of my headache. Interestingly enough, these are usually also the ones who paid me the least and gave me the most grief over the cost. So a great way to filter them out is to raise prices!

80% of a great looking website can be built in 20% of the time. The final 20%, of making everything look perfect is what takes up most of the time and makes everyone miserable. I’m not saying it’s not important, but don’t let perfectionism prevent you from getting up and running quickly.

Certain people in your network are vastly more beneficial to you, and will refer you 80% of your business or other helpful connections. Identify them and maintain solid relationships with them.

If you’re an employee, you contribute 80% of your value to your employer in just 20% of the time and effort. This is probably the thing that you are best at, and therefore do more quickly. It’s in the best interests of both yourself and your employer to help you do more of that and delegate everything else to others.

Personal growth:

80% of the business and personal grown ideals I learned, came from 20% of the books I read. In other words, a few specific books have made a big impact on me – you can view some of my favorites here.

The effectiveness of a therapy session can be multiplied many times over by simply practicing meditation or a guided relaxation routine at the beginng of the session. This is the basis of hypnotherapy.

80% percent of the joy in your life comes from 20% of the things you do or experience. Find ways to do more of it. Similarly, it’s just 20% of people and situations in your life that cause you 80% of your grief. Look for ways to move on.

20% of the things you own are the things you use 80% of the time. Can you buy less things? Can you reduce clutter and see how much of the remaining 80% of stuff you can get rid of?

20% of the yoga poses and physical exercizes can give you 80% of the results you want, in 20% of the time. I’ve written a seperate post just on this topic.

In music:

There are a few basic chords that make up most of western music: C, D, F, G, A, Am. Learn to transition smoothly between them and you can play most songs. The Axis of Awesome have a great demo of this.

While practicing chords, I recommend also progressing into the world of lead – solos, tunes, all the good stuff. A great way to start is to learn the Pentatonic scale. This simplified scale has just five patterns which you can play along the entire neck of the guitar, and can easily be transposed into any key.

When playing drums, hold your sticks higher up than you’d think to, so that the front part is only slightly heaver than the back. Then practice paradidles, rolls, and basic patterns while playing along to a metrenome or songs. (Electric drums are great, in my opionion, because they take up less room and are more portable, while not bothering the neighbors and having a built in metrenome and backing tracks.)

When playing piano, you can form all the basic chords listen above with the same shape of your fingers, just moving them to different places. Then teach yourself the inversions of each of the chords above and you’ll be able to transition between chords with very little movement. Finally, your left hand needs to only place the bass note of each chord on a lower octave for you to sound great – so focus on your right hand in the begining.

Investing:

One of the safest ways to invest in the stock market is in Exchange Traded Funds, EFT’s. This means you’re investing in entire bundles of stocks, not in any one company. This automatically diversifies you, and over the long run, the stock market as a whole shows an average of 8% annual returns.

The one single fund that gets recommended time and time again, is Vanguard. You can invest directly with them by putting in around $3,000 upfront. Otherwise, you can purchase their EFT’s through a brokerage. VTI, VOO, and VIG are good starting options, buy them through the Robinhood app to save on transaction fees.

Setting up an investment system that automatically diversifies your portfolio into a few classes of securities will get you at least 80% of the return at just 20% of the time and expense required to hire experts or analyze stocks. (And many studies have show it can actually outperform the experts or human analysis)

In cooking:

Note: I’m very much a beginner cook. But here’s what I’ve observed so far.

I use one main chef’s knife for almost everything.

Chopping up some onions and garlic and frying them in oil at the bottom of a pot or pan can serve as a basis of a ton of different dishes – from lentils to split peas to rice, etc.

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