Pareto Principle

In the Bible, we read of how the judges and other heroes of faith gathered information, considered the possibilities, weighed the information, considered the trade-offs and opportunity costs, and then carefully made their decisions.

As we seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness first, many things will be given to us including wisdom which He will give generously when we ask. Matt 6:33; James 1:5.

Today, by the grace of God, I see some proven wisdom principles as the common grace of God and they are easily articulated and shared. I believe the Pareto Principle is one such wisdom principle which we will do well to adhere by doing first things first.

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80–20 rule, states that approximately 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Or more easily understood is that 20% of the causes produces 80% of the results.

The management consultant Joseph Duran popularized this principle and attributed it to an Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto.

This principle can be applied to many sciences and even many facets of life.

As a student, I studied only the 20% of the topics of each subject which are really important and true to form, 80% of the exam questions came from these 20% topics.

Later when I worked as a sales representative, I concentrated my sales effort on the 20% of the customer base which gave the company 80% of the sales and I consistently met or exceeded the job expectation.

Even in my marital relationship, I always remember to do those 20% most important stuff which will greatly please my spouse 80% of the time.

By doing the first things first, I will have sufficient time to perform most critical tasks without being overwhelmed or burned out.

I realized that I consistently met or exceeded the expectations through adhering to the Pareto Principle without having the pressure and consequent stress to excel to the very top.

When I graduated with second class honours (upper division), I was awarded one of the most prestigious postgraduate scholarship without being denied such opportunity by those who obtained first class honours.

When I started my career in sales, I did relatively well and by the age of 29, I was made the general manager of a branch office of a USD 1 billion Spanish conglomerate in Asia.

By adhering to the Pareto Principle for all tasks and decisions, we will have proper time management to perform most without the need to sacrifice other important facets of life.


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