In business, there is an idea that says 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers.
And if you can figure out where the best sales come from, you can focus on that part of your customer base and get better results.
It’s called the 80/20 rule (or the Pareto principle) which says that basically 80% of results happen because of 20% of actions.
Of course, this is not a hard and fast rule, but more of a pattern. Here are some examples:
- Consider Vilfredo Pareto who was an Italian economist. In the early 1900s, he noticed that 80% of the wealth in Italy belonged to 20% of the people.
- Or what about errors in Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. In 2002, Microsoft sent out a memo saying that “about 20% of the bugs causes 80% of all errors.” In fact, it turned out that “1% of bugs caused half of all errors.”
- Another example of the 80/20 rule comes from baseball. In 2010, it was noticed that “15% of all the players … produced 85% of the total wins.”
So, we can find examples of this 80/20 rule popping up in all sorts of different places.
What if we apply this idea to goal setting?
Imagine we try 5 different strategies to reach our goal.
- 4 of the things we try will help only a little,
- and 1 of the things we do will help a lot.
If we can focus on those key strategies, we can get better results.
SEOT is an acronym to help us get the most out of life. The O stands for Optimize.
(It’s explained more in the goal setting slideshow)
SEOT Step to Success #7 is to CHECK IN
If we measure our progress towards a goal, then eventually, over time, we can start to look for patterns.
- Some things we do help us a little.
- Some things we do help us a lot.
- And, some things we do just get in our way.
The problem is if we don’t stop to look and see how things are going, we may never discover which key strategies help us out the most.
- Eventually, we might start to get frustrated because we’re trying so hard, but things aren’t really paying out.
- But what if we focused our time and energy on things that worked well? We probably would get better results.
Think about your goal.
- How are you measuring progress?
- Can you find any patterns in your results?
- What’s working for you?
- What’s not working for you?
Taking the time to check in with your progress is a chance for you to try to find the 20% of your actions that produce 80% of your results.
How often should you check in? Well, put it this way.
- Some people make New Year’s resolutions in January, but don’t check-in to see how things are going until next year. It’s hard to reach your goals if you’re not really thinking about them.
- If you check-in once a week, you’re already 52 times more likely to achieve your goal.
- If you check in daily and keep at it, you’re way more likely to be able to focus your time and energy where it matters most.
Psst, teachers, if you like this, check out this 2021 New Year’s Resolution lesson plan!