In the 1930s and 1940s, quality management pioneer Joseph M. Juran recognized a universal principle he called the 'vital few and trivial many'.


He observed that a small number of items in a group (the 'vital few') are far more important than all the other items (the 'trivial many').


This followed the 'Pareto Principle' put forward by Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist, in 1906 who noticed that 20% of Italians owned 80% of the nation's wealth.


We can apply these two principles to time and task management because some tasks give us a much higher return on our time investment than others. We need to weigh the relative importance of activities when setting priorities.


As a guide, we should:


  • Pick two out of ten tasks and put most of our time and energy into them. 
  • Focus, don't fret! We often feel overwhelmed by tasks.  Instead of trying to do all the tasks at once, we should choose the most important two out of ten and do them well. 


At least, overall, we will be 80% effective! 


Don't just work smart; work smart on the right things!


Source: Time Management, Marc Mancini.