Summary of Living the 80/20 Way

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Living the 80/20 Way book summary

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Agreeing with author Richard Koch, you might say 20% of the statements in this book produce 80% of its value. Koch says he wrote this book because his last one, The 80/20 Principle, was too complex for some readers. As a result, Koch’s writing, which is straightforward and concrete, at times borders on the simplistic. He illustrates each point with interesting stories and examples, some of which seem elementary to the point of being silly. That said, Koch’s application of Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto’s classic 80/20 rule is very useful. The modern interpretation of Pareto’s law holds that 80% of your productivity stems from 20% of your activities - do more of these meaningful things, and less of the others, and you can actually become more productive while decreasing your workload. This is a valuable concept for busy people who want to be more productive while also reducing their stress. Koch’s emphasis on flow, simplicity and following your passion are also useful. Some parts of the book reflect mainstream self-help literature - don’t be surprised if you’ve heard some of it before. Koch includes worksheets to help you apply the 80/20 principle to your life. getAbstract recommends this book as a good introduction for self-help readers and those looking to do more with less.

About the Author

Richard Koch has published more than a dozen books, including The 80/20 Principle, which has sold more than 200,000 copies. He’s an entrepreneur who’s worked internationally as a business consultant.


The 80/20 Principle

Technological progress has put amazing tools in the hands of mankind. You can see the signs of progress everywhere: scientific advances have cured diseases, extended life spans and enabled instant worldwide communication. That’s all terrific, but because society generally misunderstands the fundamental nature of progress, people are not using all these advances in the best ways possible. People still assume that they get more out of doing more - and that’s the wrong approach.

In reality, if you want to be happier, find a way to get more by doing less. Specifically, examine your life until you identify the most valuable, productive and easiest 20% of your activities, the part that gives you the best return for your effort. This highly productive and pleasurable fraction exists in everyone’s life, in every area. However, the area of peak performance and pleasure is different for everyone, because everyone is unique. Your job, then, is to find that special area in your life.

Using the 80/20 principle to identify the best elements in your life - and the world - is not elitist. In fact, anyone can act on it, because it arises out of attributes ...

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