Interesting book to read: The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less

During my reading of “4-hour workweek”, a book by Tim Ferris, Tim mentioned “The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less” by Richard Koch as one of his inspiration that forever changed his life and eventually led him to share his adventure and knowledge by writing the now-famous “4-hour workweek” book. Curious to find out the book mentioned by Tim and my continuous pursue for improving my life – especially on the working portion where I’d rather choose to do smart work rather than hard work, led me to read this book by Richard Koch.

This book is good for: Everyone – teenager, adult, employee, employer, entrepreneur, housewife, anyone, who:

  • wants to improve his study, work & life situation.
  • feels that there’s always not enough time to do everything.
  • has done so many things yet get so little rewards / achievements.
  • overwhelmed with the situation – be it at life, work, study.

Book Summary: The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less

Like the book title suggested, Richard is sharing with you – the readers – about how you can do not only 80/20 work but also how you can have the 80/20 action, thinking and mindset.

Richard gave so many examples on typical patterns happening around the world and around all of us, and as it turned out, these patterns can be – at high level – grouped into these big 2 categories:

  1. Category 1: 80% efforts that generates only 20% results
  2. Category 2: 20% efforts that generates 80% results

Many of us unfortunately fall into the 1st category where we spend 80% efforts that generates only 20% results and this is the result of many unhappiness in our life, in our work and everywhere else. Richard shared how you can use 80/20 principle to turn back the situation so that you can be on the 2nd category where you spend 20% efforts but generate 80% results. The method, which also known as Pareto principle can work for companies and individuals.

For company:

Think of items (products or services) that generate the most revenue, from the product and services catalogue, typically only 20% of them are generating the most revenue.

For example: Apple. For Apple, iPhone is item that generate the most money as well as the main leading product that can trigger consumer to spend more on Apple related products.

Therefore, being able to identify the most important products or services within the company, the company can better focus (and further exploit more) on this revenue generating product and either stop the other non-generating revenue product (for cost reduction) or focus less on them.

For individual:

To be selective and do things that you enjoy.

For example: Warren Buffet. Though he is multi-billionaires but until today, he doesn’t invest in everything he can buy with his money but rather to invest in select few, those businesses that he understands.

If you are an employee: Think of skill set that gets you the most excitement or rewards or achievements. For a salesman, it’s the selling skill (presentation, talking) that gets him the most rewards, so if you are a salesman, to focus more on your selling skill rather than administration skill.

Book Review on why I read this book & you should read this too

It’s fascinating for sure to see certain companies and individuals on how they can achieve so many things with the same time that we all humans have. The same 24 hours a day.

Apple as company:

See how Apple dominates the smartphone market and reap the most revenues, even though the product – iPhone – there are only a small number of models, if you compare to other smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung or Xiaomi.

Back then, Apple has just started smartphone business only in 2007, many considered Apple was late to the smartphone party. But what happen to smartphone giants before iPhone: Blackberry, Microsoft (with PDA), Motorola, Nokia, Palm – they barely exist nor survive these days. Have you ever think how come smartphone veterans can be leaped forward by new player – in this case Apple? That’s because Apple focus on the key few things other smartphone manufacturers failed to deliver before Apple: simplicity and easiness to use, a centralized App Store where people can enhance and enrich their smartphones.

Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet as individuals:

See how Elon Musk, Bill Gates or Warren Buffet can be so rich and wealthy today, given they have the same 24 hours like us. Apart from perhaps lucky and being born as genius, these 3 – Musk, Gates and Buffet – they chose to do what they do best and keep improving on them.

Warren Buffet – given he’s so rich, but he didn’t buy all the available stocks on the stock market, he did stock picking on what he think the 20% efforts that can generates 80% results or even more. As a result, he bought companies like Coca Cola, McDonalds – these 2 companies are not just another normal beverage or fast food companies, they are publicly known and available on just about every corner in the world.

Elon Musk’s focus on delivering not only electric car but also auto-pilot, and OTA update, something that his rival either never thought of them before or refused to think of them until they saw what Elon can do with his Tesla. Moreover, there are only select few Telsa car models available – especially if you compare with Toyota or other car manufacturers’ brand. By only keeping a small few, Elon can focus more on key things to make it unique from the rest of cars.

However, doesn’t mean that the 80% efforts is not important, it is – in fact – still important, because in most cases, companies and individuals won’t be able to survive nor live without the rest 80% efforts done. However the point this book is telling is for you to identify the 20% efforts that generates 80% rewards so you can focus your efforts to increase and improve the percentage to reap more and better rewards.

The impact of this book to me and my life:

I, myself, as working adult, always feel like there’s simply no time to do everything. There’s always project deadline approaching, housing chores to do and so many thing else. However, after reading this book and the “4-hour workweek”, now I can make time to almost everything I need to – like time required to read this 80/20 book. Now I can separate what’s important and what’s not so important and focus only a few things that’s really important. Also I’m able to identify where my time within a day is actually spent and whether they are well spent or just spent into a time waster.

Here’s what I have done that greatly improves my outcomes:

As a working adult:

  • Set time when to check email, so I don’t need to keep checking email as they arrive.
  • Set expectation to peers on when to approach me.
  • Delegate tasks, especially if someone else can do the job much better and efficient.

At home:

  • Set time when to talk with family members and focus to be present for them during the timing alloted.
  • Set understanding to family members too, so they know when and when not to approach me (E.g.: Don’t disturb when I’m doing my work-at-home).

At life:

  • Continuously seeking where things can be improved. (E.g.: I do blogging and I have created templates to help me expedite my writting).
  • Identify the time waster and eliminate them if they are not important.

Where you can get & read The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less

In case you are also interested with this book, here’s where you can get the book.

1) Amazon


Alternative link in case you can’t see the link above: The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less (Audiobook).


Alternative link in case you can’t see the link above: The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less (eBook).

Physical book (Paperback):

Alternative link in case you can’t see the link above: The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less (Paperback).

If you are getting the digital copy, here’s where you can read the book:

AndroidKindle app for Android
iOSKindle app for iOS
KindleKindle tablet on Amazon
macOSKindle app for macOS
WindowsKindle app for Windows

Note: If you buy anything from Amazon using any of the links above, I shall earn a small commission at no extra cost charged on your purchases.

2) Local library

Head to your local library or log in to your local library app to find and rent this book.

Here’s the book ISBN number to help you search the book in library.


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