Last time we talked about working hard versus working smart. Clearly, hard work only goes so far. And I’m not saying working hard is bad. In fact, it is essential but we have seen its limits based on what we had previously. It is also vital to always remember that you and I, just like everybody else, only have the same number of hours a day.


Now here is the question: Why is it that there are people who seem to accomplish more or seem to have better results? I think the more important question is where do you focus your efforts? Ano bang pinagkaka-abalahan mo?

A few days ago, I came across an article whose author expresses his opinions about the common mistakes made by people in their 20’s. To me, they are rather major points of decision which would determine what kind of a life one would most likely live in the future.

One of the points the author made is about the idea of “working for money and not building your dreams”. I agree with the author completely. I often hear people say “I’m busy” or “I have more important things to do”. Well, I am not saying that they are not saying the truth. But there is a downside of being so busy today. People tend to forget what is really important to them. So they work and work and work; only to find nothing else but a retirement plan (if there’s any) after their working days are over.

I will actually cut to the chase right now. I am writing today because I want to talk about the 80/20 Rule. I am sure many of you have already heard of it. And I am also sure that not everybody applies it. It is from the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, also known as the “Pareto Principle”. It only states that: 80% of our success comes from 20% of our efforts; but the reverse is not true.

Have you ever wondered why some people have more results than that of others? Given the fact that we all have same number of hours a day?

Again, let us take a look at the Philippine setting. Can we say that the 20% of the population owns 80% of the resources? Now, these guys have the Pareto Principle on their side. And if we take a look at the remaining 80% of the population, just do the math and you will see a problem. Another example is in the typical corporate world.  We could observe also that the 20% belongs to the management executives, and the bottom 80% consists of the “Rank and File” employees which carry out most of the legwork.

So if you are considering the idea of climbing the corporate ladder down from the bottom and up, you would better be prepared to get past that 80%. And let us not forget, all these people are your competitors; not to mention the corporate politics. Do the math and you will have the probability of 1/80 for every 100 employees.

Am I being mean? Do not worry. I have good news for you: you could increase your chances if you are really that smart. (But then again, we are talking of the 80/20, right?)

Maybe at this point things are making more sense as the pieces of the puzzle are starting to form in itself. I mentioned last time about the “Sipag at Tiyaga” as an insufficient formula. To complete the equation we have:  Sipag + Tiyaga + Opportunity. And this is not your ordinary opportunity. It has to be one in which you could make use of the 80/20 rule for your benefit. And if you are really looking, you could find them every day, everywhere.

So once you get to work in the morning, ask yourself: How will I use the 80/20 rule? Without knowing this you might get trapped in that hole you dug from the past through the cycle of “Sipag at Tiyaga”.

It is my sincere hope that you got something new today. Let’s talk about more of you next time.


Your comments, suggestions and queries are very much welcome. Please don’t hesitate to send them through.



4 thoughts on “Where Do You Focus Your Efforts? The 80/20 Rule

  1. This truly made me think. Business often gives me the creeps. Most importantly that I really am not into its terms. This is different, though. Something new. Not the usual “work-really-hard” advice you get from others. I’d have to say thanks. Your batch mate, Carl, shared this on Facebook. I’m glad I took time to read your blog post.



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