MBA Tools: The Pareto, 80-20 and Time Management

Pareto was an economist who theorized that 80 percent of all problems result from 20 percent of all causes. This may seem like a complex theory which is too difficult to apply to such a thing as time management, but the Pareto 80-20 rule, as it has come to be termed, can be very beneficial when applied to problem solving in any form. Learn more about this MBA Tool for decision-making.

One of the first steps in learning to effectively utilize time is to identify repeated patterns in your daily schedule that may be interfering with productivity.

In looking over daily records of your time you may notice certain blocks of time which are not being used to their fullest. Once having identified these blocks of time, you can begin to make changes in your daily routine.

Pareto’s 80-20 rule basically means that if you can identify and change only 20 percent of the causes of problems in your current time management system, you can subsequently fix 80 percent of those problems.

An example of this would be to identify only two 15 minute blocks of time in your normal day when you find that you are being the least productive. By changing the way you currently use these 2 small blocks of time, theoretically you should be able to increase your productivity by up to 80 percent.

Better time management does not mean giving up all free time, or all the time you currently spend relaxing, or enjoying your life. Instead it helps you set priorities for managing time, eliminate wasted time, and gain more control over how you use this valuable resource.

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