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The 80/20 Rule And How It Can Change Your Life

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What is the 80/20 Rule and could it actually make 80% of your work disappear?

If you’ve studied business or economics, you’re well familiar with the power of the Pareto Principle.

The Man Behind The Concept

Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto was born in Italy in 1848. He would go on to become an important philosopher and economist. Legend has it that one day he noticed that 20% of the pea plants in his garden generated 80% of the healthy pea pods. This observation caused him to think about uneven distribution. He thought about wealth and discovered that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by just 20% of the population. He investigated different industries and found that 80% of production typically came from just 20% of the companies. The generalization became:

80% of results will come from just 20% of the action:

Pareto’s 80/20 Rule

This “universal truth” about the imbalance of inputs and outputs is what became known as the Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule. While it doesn’t always come to be an exact 80/20 ratio, this imbalance is often seen in various business cases:

• 20% of the sales reps generate 80% of total sales.

• 20% of customers account for 80% of total profits.

• 20% of the most reported software bugs cause 80% of software crashes.

• 20% of patients account for 80% of healthcare spending (and 5% of patients account for a full 50% of all expenditures!)

On a more personal note, you might be able to relate to my unintentional 80/20 habits.

I own at least five amazing suits, but 80% of the time or more I grab my black, well-tailored, single-breasted Armani with a powder blue shirt. (Ladies, how many shoes do you own, and how often do you grab the same 20%?)

I have 15 rooms in my house, but I spend about 80% of my time in just my bedroom, family room, and office (exactly 20%).

I’m not sure how many miles of roads are in the small town where I live, but I bet I only drive on 20% or less of them, as I make daily trips to my kids’ schools, the grocery store, the bank and gas station.

On my smartphone, I have 48 different mobile apps pinned to the tiles, but 80% of the time I’m only using the eight on my home screen.

When I go grocery shopping, I definitely spend the most time in the aisles that are around the edges of the store: produce, the fish market, dairy, breads—and generally skip the aisles in the middle of the store (except for health and beauty).

As a massive introvert, I don’t actually socialize too much, but when I do, 80% of my time is spent with the same 20% of my friends and family members.

In my research into the productivity habits of high achievers, I interviewed hundreds of self-made millionaires, straight-A students and even Olympic athletes. For them, handling every task that gets thrown their way—or even every task that they would like to handle—is impossible. They use Pareto to help them determine what is of vital importance. Then, they delegate the rest, or simply let it go.

How You Can Use It

So how can you apply Pareto’s principle to gain more time in your life?

Are you an executive? You’re surely faced with the constant challenge of limited resources. It’s not just your time you need to maximize, but your entire team’s. Instead of trying to do the impossible, a Pareto approach is to truly understand which projects are most important. What are the most important goals of your organization, or boss, and which specific tasks do you need to focus on to align with those goals. Delegate or drop the rest.

Are you a freelancer? It’s important to identify your best (and highest-paying) clients. Of course, you don’t want all your eggs in one basket. But too much diversification will quickly lead to burnout. Focus on the money makers and strengthening those long-term relationships.

Are you an entrepreneur? The temptation always exists to try the new and exciting. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it boils down to your goals. Are you trying to grow your current business? Would an 80/20 mindset help you to stay focused on your strategic plan and spend less time chasing endless new opportunities?

No matter what your situation, it’s important to remember that there are only so many minutes in an hour, hours in a day, and days in a week. Pareto can help you to see this is a good thing; otherwise, you’d be a slave to a never-ending list of things to do.

So, what 20% of your work drives 80% of your outcomes?

 

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The Importance of Working For A Boss Who Supports You

Employers seek loyalty and dedication from their employees but sometimes fail to return their half of the equation, leaving millennial workers feeling left behind and unsupported. Professional relationships are built on trust and commitment, and working for a boss that supports you is vital to professional and company success.

Employees who believe their company cares for them perform better. What value does an employer place on you as an employee? Are you there to get the job done and go home? Are you paid fairly, well-trained and confident in your job security? Do you work under good job conditions? Do you receive constructive feedback, or do you feel demeaned or invisible?

When millennial employees feel supported by their boss, their happiness on the job soars — and so does company success. Building a healthy relationship involves the efforts of both parties — boss and employee — and the result not only improves company success, but also the quality of policies, feedback and work culture.

Investing In A Relationship With Your Boss

When you’re first hired, you should get to know your company’s culture and closely watch your boss as you learn the ropes. It’s best to clarify any questions you have instead of going rogue on a project and ending up with a failed proposal for a valuable client.

Regardless of your boss’s communication style, speaking up on timely matters before consequences are out of your control builds trust and establishes healthy communication. Getting to know your boss begins with knowing how they move through the business day, including their moods, how they prefer to communicate and their style of leadership:

  • Mood: Perhaps your boss needs their cup of coffee to start the day. If you see other employees scurry away before the boss drains that cup of coffee, bide your time, too.
  • Communication: The boss’s communication style is also influenced by their mood. Don’t wait too late to break important news. In-depth topics may be scheduled for a meeting through a phone call or email to check in and show you respect your boss’s time. In return, your time will be respected, too.

Some professionals are more emotionally reinforcing that others. Some might appear cold, but in reality, prefer to use hard data to solidify the endpoint as an analytical style. If you’re more focused on interpersonal relationships, that’s your strength, but you must also learn and respect your boss’s communication style.

  • Leadership: What kind of leader is the boss? Various communication styles best fit an organization depending on its goals and culture, but provide both advantages and disadvantages. Autocratic leaders assume total authority on decision-making without input or challenge from others. Participative leaders value the democratic input of team members, but final decisions remain with the boss.

Autocratic leaders may be best equipped to handle emergency decisions over participative leaders, depending on the situation and information received.

While the boss wields a position of power over employees, it’s important that leaders don’t hold that over their employees’ heads. In the case of dissatisfaction at work, millennial employees don’t carry the sole blame. Respect is mutually earned, and ultimately a healthy relationship between leaders and employees betters the company and the budding careers of millennials.

A Healthy Relationship With Leaders Betters The Company

A Gallup report reveals that millennial career happiness is down while disengagement at work climbs — 71% of millennials aren’t engaged on the job and half of all employed plan on leaving within a year. What is the cause? Bosses carry the responsibility for 70% of employee engagement variances. Meanwhile, engaged bosses are 59% more prone to having and retaining engaged employees.

The supportive behaviors of these managers to engage their employees included being accessible for discussion, motivating by strengths over weaknesses and helping to set goals. According to the Gallup report, the primary determiner of employee retention and engagement are those in leadership positions. The boss is poised to affect employee happiness, satisfaction, productivity and performance directly.

The same report reveals that only 21% of millennial employees meet weekly with their boss and 17% receive meaningful feedback. The most positive engagement booster was in managers who focused on employee strengths. In the end, one out of every two employees will leave a job to get away from their boss when unsupported.

Millennials are taking the workforce by storm — one-third of those employed are millennials, and soon those numbers will take the lead. Millennials are important to companies as technology continues to shift and grow, and they are passionate about offering their talents to their employers. It’s vital that millennials have access to bosses who offer support and engage their staff through meaningful feedback, accessibility and help with goal-setting.

In return, millennial happiness and job satisfaction soar, positively impacting productivity, performance, policy and work culture. A healthy relationship between boss and employee is vital to company success and the growth of millennial careers as the workforce continues to age. Bosses shouldn’t be the reason that millennial employees leave. They should be the reason millennials stay and thrive in the workplace, pushing it toward greater success.

I am a digital marketing specialist, freelance writer and the founder of Punched Clocks, a career advice blog that focuses on happiness and creating a career you love. I graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 2014 with majors in Marketing and Economics and a focus in psychology. After graduating, I began my career and started writing on the side after studying the psychology of happiness.

Source: The Importance of Working For A Boss Who Supports You

 

 

 

Want Digital Transformation? Encourage Continuous Learning For All Employees – Daniel Newman

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Recently, we’ve seen upskilling and retraining programs emerge in workforces across the globe. Companies are taking the time to help their employees learn new skills for new positions as new technology emerges. This is great, don’t get me wrong, but I think we need to focus more on continuous learning for all employees. This definitely would work in conjunction with upskilling programs, but as leaders who are trying to drive transformation, the onus is with us to encourage learning across the organization…….

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2018/10/30/want-digital-transformation-encourage-continuous-learning-for-all-employees/#161288477fe3

 

 

 

 

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Here’s What Hiring Managers Actually Care About – Aimée Lutkin

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You can’t jump into the mind of the person sitting across from you in an interview and know exactly what they’re looking for. But there are, fortunately, some basic qualities most hiring managers think are pretty important across the board. In a survey of 800 people who have been responsible for interviewing and hiring at their company, Netquote put together some general observations about the process. The things we’ve always suspected as being personally important—like our creativity—are actually pretty low on the scale of the manager’s scale. Here’s what they actually do and don’t want to know……..

Read more: https://lifehacker.com/heres-what-hiring-managers-actually-care-about-1830079581

 

 

 

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8 Time Management Hacks to Optimize Your Life In and Outside Work – The Oracles

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Time is everyone’s most valuable and scarce resource. Managing it effectively can be the difference between success and failure. These Advisors in The Oracles share how they manage their day to optimize their business success and personal life. To really manage and maximize your time — to squeeze every opportunity out of it — you have to appreciate how much you have. Take control of your time, and don’t allow others to. Get family, friends, colleagues, and employees to agree on the most important priorities……..

Read more : https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/322152

 

 

 

 

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How This Millennial Came To Realize The Value Of Old-School Management – Chris Myers

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Youth is a funny thing. No matter how many mentors you have, classes you take, or books you read, you always think you know better. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about business or simply life in general, the young are genetically programmed to reject the wisdom of their elders. It’s only when you accumulate enough life experience and begin to become an elder yourself that you begin to realize that much……

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrismyers/2018/10/17/how-this-millennial-came-to-realize-the-value-of-old-school-management-techniques/#23d85b7627cd

 

 

 

 

 

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Do This One Thing If You Want To Stand Out In Competitive Environments – Esther Choy


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In one of the most-viewed TED Talks of all time, Simon Sinek said all business discussions and decisions must “start with why.” Most people don’t do this, he says. “Very, very few people or organizations,” says Sinek, “know why they do what they do.” Similarly, in our careers, we know our credentials. They’re what we put front-and-center in our resumes. Some of us know our competencies. But very few of us have considered sharing our character. And just as Sinek encouraged organizations to “start with why……..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/estherchoy/2018/10/21/do-this-to-stand-out/#328f2d09522a

 

 

 

 

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5 Ways To Go From Being A Good Boss To A Great Boss – Karlyn Borysenko

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There are a lot of bad bosses out there – that’s no surprise. In fact, 65% of Americans would choose to fire their boss over getting a pay raise. But what gets lost in the midst of trying to stop an awful lot of bad behaviors is the fact that there are a fair number of good bosses out there as well. These are bosses who genuinely care for their team members and want to do the right thing by them. Bosses in the “good” category are already doing a lot of things right, but still have room to move from “good” to “great,” and drive engagement and team productivity on a whole new level……

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/karlynborysenko/2018/10/15/5-ways-to-go-from-being-a-good-boss-to-a-great-boss/#4ee9bf81488a

 

 

 

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Three Behaviors That Can Help You Mature From Boss To Leader – Chris Myers

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One of the most embarrassing mistakes I made early on at BodeTree was believing that the title of CEO automatically made me a leader.  It didn’t. I had power, but had yet to earn my authority. Thought I fancied myself a leader, I was just a boss. It took years of mistakes, struggles, and hard realizations for that to change. You see, anyone can be a boss, but relatively few have the drive, patience.I still have a long way to go, but I have learned three behaviors that are central to the transformation from boss to leader. Like most things of value, these behaviors are easy to accept but hard to live……

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrismyers/2018/09/28/three-behaviors-that-can-help-you-mature-from-boss-to-leader/#3742a05b4f68

 

 

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