The 80/20 rule was first put forward by Wilfred Pareto, a nineteenth century economist who was surprised to discover that 80 per cent of the world’s wealth was concentrated in the hands of only 20 per cent of the world’s population. What was even more remarkable to him was that this 80/20 divide seemed to hold true in nearly every area of life.
Check to see how many of these 80/20 patterns are true for you:
- 80 per cent of your time is spent on 20 per cent of your problems
- 80 per cent of your results come from 20 per cent of your efforts
- 80 per cent of the wear on your carpets takes place on 20 per cent of the area
- 80 per cent of the time you wear 20 per cent of your clothes
Someone worked out that 80 per cent of his stress was probably coming from about 20 per cent of the people he knew, so he made a list of everyone in his life who took his energy up and all the people who brought his energy down.
Here is an 80/20 exercise you can use for yourself. As you take the time to complete your energy audit and review your answers, the chances are that you will find a number of simple changes you can make that will allow you more time to just be happy without having to give up any of the activities, people or things which make a positive difference in your life.
THE ENERGY AUDIT
(1) Do an energy audit on the people, activities and situations in your life. Ask yourself these questions now:
- What are the 20 per cent of your activities that bring you 80 per cent of your results?
- What are the 20 per cent of your activities and areas of your life in which you experience 80 per cent of your stress?
- What are the 20 per cent of your activities and areas of your life in which you experience 20 per cent of your happiness?
- Who are the 20 per cent of the people in your life with whom you have 80 per cent of your best experiences?
- Who or what brings your energy up when you think about them? Who or what brings your energy down?
(2) Based on what you’ve learned, what should you be doing less of? What would be worth doing more of?.
(3) Who would it be worth spending more time with? Who would it be worth spending less time with?
(4) If you only had one month to live, what would you let go of from your life? Which of those things can you let go of anyway?