The wasteful 80%

The famous pareto principle states that 80% of our outcomes accrue from 20% of our efforts. An overlooked corollary to this principle is that 80% of almost any effort expended is non-essential.

Take a crucial hour-long meeting that you missed. You can gather most of what happened in this meeting by reading its notes in 5 minutes. Most of the information exchanged in a majority of work meetings is non-essential.

When you catch up on the news after a long vacation, you realize you haven’t missed anything. The same is true of work projects. Despite long breaks, we don’t miss out on what we fear we will.

Things always appears more valuable they really are. The only means to sift out the valuable parts is to go on extended breaks and observe what we truly miss.

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