Protect The Vital Few From The Trivial Many (The Pareto Principle)

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The Pareto Principle, better known as the 80/20 rule, points out the obvious fact that most things in life are not evenly distributed. It is important to always remember this when allocating time, resources, energy et cetera.

Look at the world’s richest and compare that number against the poorest-staggering ratios. Makes you wonder if there really is enough cake for all of us. I tend to believe there is. However until we emancipate ourselves from the shackles we’ve imprisoned ourselves in, the rich will keep getting richer and the poor poorer. Hence the need to redefine and redesign things every now and then.

So next time instead of spending an hour drafting a paper/article you are not certain is necessary, spend ten minutes or more thinking of ideas and then the rest of the time penning the best out of all the possibilities you arrive at.

As Abe Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree & I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.”

Waddup all the designers out there! I know how y’all are obsessive about your craft -newsflash so is everyone else :) Anyway, given three hours to draw a single design, make 6 layouts. Spend half an hour on each layout and then pick your favorite. Maybe one of the layouts might turn out so different from all the rest that it leads to something different.

When bombarded with lots of material to read, skim through all and pick out a few of the best to dig into. Maybe it’s about time I also tried applications like The Skimm. I’m sure there are many more out there.

This principle applies to right about anyone doing anything. Weigh your opportunity costs and choose the smartest way to do things.

The 80/20 rule can also be applied to ideation. Out of 5 ideas, usually turns out only 1 was so ‘brilliant’ after all. So in my opinion, go crazy whenever you have to ideate. Visualize as many scenarios as you can before drilling down to one.

Another very important thing to note is that the numbers 20 and 80 don’t necessarily add up to 100.

20% of input could be what translates into 89% of the output. However, in some scenarios it just translates into x% of the output; where 0% <= x% <= 100% .The other 80% of the effort turns out to have all been in vain.

Should you observe this, focus on optimizing the 20% of input and pay less attention to the other 80%.

Until next time beautiful people.

If you have a few minutes to spare, click on the YouTube video below to watch some incredible art.