Productive Life

The 80/20 Rule: 3 easy Ways To Simplify your Life This Week + Worksheet

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Want to simplify life and get enough done with way less effort? Check out these 3 ways you can use the life-changing 80/20 rule this week + grab the free worksheet that can help you define your 80/20 life to do less while getting the same results.

I’m a HUGE fan of the 80/20 rule.

And I don’t just love it, but I’ve been IN love with it for years. ! If I could, I would marry the 80/20 rule, have little 80/20 babies with it, and grow old together in our 80/20 house.

I would love to use it for EVERYTHING.

But do I? Do I use the 80/20 rule 100% of my time? Nope!

And neither should you. 

Otherwise, it wouldn’t be called the 80/20 rule.

But there are SO many things it IS perfect for! And before we dive into those, let’s go through quickly a few things about this life-changing rule!

The 80/20 rule: My 80-20 life - free worksheets
Table Of Contents

What is the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule (also known as Pareto Principle) goes waaay back, and if simplified, the 80/20 rule means that instead of working hard, you work smart… and way less.

So instead of getting 100% of the results by putting in 100% work (which is A LOT), you can get 80% of those results by putting in ONLY 20% of the effort.

Well, that sounds much better! So much less to do!

If simplified, the 80/20 rule means that instead of working hard, you work smart… and way less.

The 80/20 example: Fast cleaning

For example, you could clean for 20 minutes: take most of the “big” clutter away, vacuum quickly, and wipe the counters. And voilà! You’re space already looks quite fabulous.

BUT if you’d clean another HOUR and 20 minutes, your space would be spotless for sure, but it wouldn’t make THAT big of a difference compared to quick-cleaning for 20 minutes and organizing the biggest eyesores.

But of course, you need to know WHAT to do during those 20 minutes you clean.

Like if you’d spend the 20 minutes scrubbing one corner with a toothbrush (who’d even do that?!… well I do sometimes), you’re working hard but not smart. Plus, it would be just plain crazy.

So why do we do that? I don’t mean cleaning with a toothbrush but spending way too much time getting perfect results, and then we’re exhausted with our lives.

The 80/20 rule is like the essence of NOT being a perfectionist.

how does the 80/20 rule work

  • We usually wear 20% of our clothes for 80% (or even 90%) of the time. YES! You know those clothes. Those are your favorites. They’re the ones you are always first reaching out to when you open your closet!
  • We usually use 20% of our kitchenware 80% of the time. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you used that fondue-set?
  • We usually get 80% happiness for the first two pieces of chocolate that we eat. 
  • We usually enjoy most the first episode when binge-watching Netflix.

It’s NOT about doing it all. Or having it all. Or denying ourselves of fun things.

It’s all about balance. And how to divide your valuable time. 

So how can you use the 80/20 rule like right now?

3 tips to implement the 80/20 rule this week

The 80/20 rule is NOT about restricting yourself or having the PERFECT solution, but about moderation.

So these are a few simple ideas you can start with. (Or check out this week’s printable gift! It can help you come up with better-suited ones!)

1) How to cut back your digital life by the 80/20 rule

EXAMPLE: If you go to Facebook about 10 x a day to “just to check” what’s happening… And then an hour later, you’re still scrolling your feed…

WHAT IF INSTEAD: Then would you really miss anything if you’d check your Facebook only twice a day, and you’d only spend time there for max 10-20 minutes? And tada! 80/20 achieved!

TIP: Decide what time a day you’ll be checking your Facebook. And the first few times you do this (and if needed), put on a timer!

2) How to have fewer treats by using the 80/20 rule

EXAMPLE: If you have treats every day (and/or when you do, you eat the whole bar of chocolate on one go), and you’d like to cut back…

WHAT IF INSTEAD: Could you have treats every day without feeling guilty if you only have one or two small ones? Or if one or two small ones won’t cut it, what if you’ll have one day a week when you can have whatever treats you wish! That’s 80/20!

TIP: I use the latter for shopping as well! I buy nothing for myself on weekdays and on Saturdays I gift myself something nice. #SaturdayGift

3) How to use the 80/20 rule when decluttering – Where to start? How to see instant results?

EXAMPLE: If you don’t know where to start decluttering or believe, you’ll need to declutter every single “useless” thing from the whole house on one go…

WHAT IF INSTEAD: In which areas in your house you and your family spend the MOST of the time? It doesn’t have to be 80% of the time, but the most. And start with that one.

TIP #1: Or do what I do, and declutter the biggest things first! Start with the things that take the most room. That way, you’ll see instant results!

If you start with the “miscellaneous/junk drawer” with all the odd knick-knacks in it, you’ll be decluttering for weeks.

TIP #2: Or collect all the things that are misplaced and put them in a box. Suddenly, your home looks way over 80% more organized! And the only thing unorganized is that box! 80/20 DONE!

Super simple. More time for more important things. And instant results! 

Printable Worksheet: define your 80/20 life and do less while getting the same results

This week I made a printable worksheet that you can use to do a little exercise to define your “80-20 life”. 

The 80/20 rule: My 80-20 life - free worksheets

Exercise: The way you can find what are the things you could do less (but still get enough results form doing that) is this:

  1. Write down the tasks, chores, projects, or habits that take too much of your time and that you’d like to change.
  2. Write down what the current situation is: how much you spend time, money, or other resources on it. 
  3. Then write down “what if instead” you’d do a little less. How would that feel and be like? Would that be “enough”? Would you be willing to do that? Would you still get enough joy or results if you’d do less? And if yes, how would you need to change your life?
  4. And then write down how to achieve “enough” and then do that.

Check out the examples on the printable for reference. 

The 80/20 rule: My 80-20 life - free worksheets

And here’s the blank worksheet to write down your own tasks, chores, projects and/or habits you’d like to spend less time with while still getting the same results. You’ll find the instant download link to the worksheets under the image.

The 80/20 rule: My 80-20 life - free worksheets

DOWNLOAD: Your 80/20 life worksheets

All designs © SaturdayGift Ltd. For personal use only, not to be copied, distributed, altered or sold.

Are you ready to give it a try? Super! Download the worksheets, re-read this post if needed and start doing less while still getting the same results. And hey! I would love to know how your 80/20 life looks like, so feel free to shoot me an email or share your new 80/20 experience in the comments.

Read next: How to Be More Productive – 5 Simple Tips for Tackling Your To-Do List Today


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