What's Your 20? | Mindsteps Inc.

What’s Your 20?

Recently, I rediscovered Pareto’s principle. Also known as the 80/20 rule, it’s the idea that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. That means that:

  • 80% of your discipline problems usually comes from 20% of your students
  • 80% of your results as a school come from 20% of your initiatives
  • 80% of your students’ key learning come from the best 20% of your class time

So, when you think about it, if only 20% of our effort is responsible for 80% of our results, then that means that 80% of our effort only produces 20% of our results.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like those numbers.

So, this year, I am trying to figure out what is my 80/20? What actions are getting me the biggest results?

The idea is that if you can figure out what’s your 20 – what small efforts are getting you the biggest results – then you can spend more time working on things that really matter instead of wasting your time on things that don’t.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately figuring out what’s my 20 and the more time I spend working on my 20, the bigger my results and the lower my stress.

So this week, I want to ask you What’s your 20? What’s the work that is producing the greatest value for you? Where should you be spending your time?

I encourage you to pay attention this week to what you’re doing and determine what’s giving you the biggest bang for your effort?

Let me know in the comments section below.

  • Vic Roberts says:

    I like this concept. Yes, 80 percent of my time is devoted to the 20 percent of my students who struggle and generate few results. These are the kids you beg to do homework or come after school for extra help. But as the saying goes, you can lead a kid to his book, but you can’t make him read it. I recognize the inefficiency here. But I have resigned myself to this being a part of the job. The other 80 percent of the kids take some initiative and responsibility for their work. They also have a higher probability of having supportive parents. In business, where inefficiencies exist, problems are often solved by elimination of unproductive or redundant workers. In schools, that option does not exist with under-performing students. To me, the loving thing to do is recognize that this 20 percent needs our 80 percent, so we must give that to them with patience and joy. Am I wrong here or is there a better fix?

    • admin says:

      You are not wrong. 20% of our students will require 80% of our time and we should give it to them. I apply the 80/20 rule to processes more than people. That means that if I know that the students who need me the most are struggling in a particular area, I try to invest my support efforts on the 20% that will make the biggest difference to these students rather than waste time and energy on the 80% work that won’t help them nearly as much. Robyn

  • SexyProf says:

    I guess I would love to see a few examples.

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