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  • Mark Schreiber

How to be more productive at work using the 80/20 principal

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

The 80/20 principle is a simple productivity hack that can help you achieve better work-life balance. Also known as the Pareto Principle, this time management technique is named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. This principle states that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results. Therefore, it is important to identify the 20% of activities that are most important and focus your time and energy on these tasks.

1. Identify Your Most Important Tasks

The first step is to identify the 20% of tasks that are most important. These are the tasks that will have the biggest impact on your work and career. To identify these tasks, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What tasks are most important to my job?

  • What tasks contribute to my long-term goals?

  • What tasks am I procrastinating on?

  • What tasks are most challenging for me?

2. Schedule Time for Your Most Important Tasks

Once you have identified your most important tasks, you need to schedule time for these tasks in your calendar. Make sure to block out enough time so that you can complete the task without interruption. It may also be helpful to set a deadline for yourself so that you stay on track.

It is also important to set time limits for each task. For example, if you have a report to write, give yourself two hours to complete it. Once the time limit is up, move on to the next task on your list. This will help you to stay focused and avoid getting bogged down in one task.

3. Focus on One Task at a Time

When it is time to work on your most important task, make sure to turn off all distractions and focus solely on that task. This means no checking email, no browsing social media, and no taking phone calls. If you need help staying focused, there are many productivity apps that can block distractions and help you stay on track.

4. Delegate or Outsource Non-Essential Tasks

The third step is to delegate or outsource non-essential tasks. If there are tasks that are not essential to your success, delegate them to someone else or outsource them to a professional service. This will free up your time so that you can focus on your top priorities.

5. Take Breaks as Needed

It is important to take breaks throughout the day so that you don’t get burnt out. When you feel yourself starting to lose focus, take a 5-10 minute break to walk around or grab a cup of coffee. Just make sure not to take too many breaks or you won’t be able to get anything done!


The 80/20 principle is a simple yet effective way to be more productive at work. By identifying the 20% of tasks that are most important and focusing your time and energy on these tasks, you can get more done in less time and reduce stress. Try using this productivity hack today and see how it can help you achieve better work-life balance! By following these steps, you should see that you are able to focus on what's important and get more done in less time.

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