in 1906, vilfredo pareto created a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country, observing that 20% of the people own 80% of the wealth. since then, this equation (principle) has been applied broadly and is now considered a valuable tool to help manage effectively: for example, it is said that 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your workforce. and while 80% is not the exact percentage in all areas of life, the general principle typically holds true (the 80/20 principle: the secret to success by achieving more with less).
thinking about this principle, i began to wonder where it could be applied to my belongings. i started a quick list of areas in my life where the principle (generally) hold true.
- television channels
- children’s toys
- kitchen utensils/appliances
- resource books
- computer programs
- video games
- cleaning supplies
understanding this principle can help me manage/minimalize more effectively.
- the items in the 20% category should be more easily accessible to me.
- the items in the 80% category should be stored out of sight and out of the way or eliminated completely.
- the items in the 80% percentile that are used 0% of the time should definitely be eliminated immediately.
it was a helpful exercise to walk around my house and identify categories where this principle applies. it was also encouraging… i don’t think i found anything that was 80/20, most of it was closer to 60/40 (i wouldn’t have been able to say that 18 months ago).
what else could you/i add to the list where this principle holds true?