Another look at 80/20 principle

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Sangoma
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Another look at 80/20 principle

Post by Sangoma » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:12 am

Yeah, yeah, twenty precent of efforts produce eighty percent of the results. However, while browsing databases for various endurance training methods I have had a little revelation in this regard.

So, in the last couple decades the endurance world has gravitated towards the concept of spending 80% of training in low intensity high volume zone and devoting 20% of efforts to high intensity low volume stuff. 80/20 all over again, iznit? However, in this case it's the 80 that makes a difference and brings results.

I was thinking, in other areas of life, those 20% of efforts that bring most of results will not work in isolation from the "useless" 80% of the efforts. Gurus of all kinds of life coaching, self-help and motivation don't get tired referring to 80/20, urging you to concentrate on the really useful 20% of action. I think, however, they don't understand that if you want to achieve success you cannot avoid 80% of what is later marked as fruitless effort. So called useless business activities - meetings that led nowhere, phone cals that ended where they started, Internet searches that [roduced no leads and so on - all this produces important effects. If nothing else the "useless" activity teaches you consistency, persistence, discipline and the ability to continue in the face of bland nothing. And in spite of solemn words in the last sentence there is nothing romantic or heroic about it. You do what has to be done, and eventually some of the efforts produce results.

And I am not even high or drunk...
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cimes
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Re: Another look at 80/20 principle

Post by cimes » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:20 am

Interesting.

I haven't really thought about it like that in terms of work but I can definitely relate.

I work in IT dept for a large company. IT is seen as a cost center a necessary evil by people in the business units (Sales, Marketing, Network ect). So much so that the business units will often hire their own developers to provide quick and dirty solutions that won't scale just to avoid working with us.

I lead a fairly large team of programmers/software engineer types. For years, I've emphasized to my team that besides coding/design, we must partner with our business units to develop solutions that help them meet their goals. This may mean in some cases meeting with them for months to dig in and understand their problems before we ever receive project funding to develop the solution. What results is that we always secure enough funding to cover my team and we have business partners that don't see us as just a cost center but as an extension of their team and they enjoy working with us. It's not how most of the development teams work in our co. and consequently, they often run out of funding in the last quarter and have to make cuts. The time spent in these meetings is often additive to the real work we do which means overtime.

It's not without frustration. I've poured a lot of time into meetings and proposals that didn't result in project funding or it took a long time for it to finally come to fruition. But, it does make the work more rewarding and besides funding, I've got a lot of folks on my team who have depth and breadth of business knowledge in addition to being expert software developers and I never have to question the value we are adding.

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Boris
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Re: Another look at 80/20 principle

Post by Boris » Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Pareto's principle is helpful, but it's not really a method and that's where people get confused.

It also doesn't mean the 80% isn't important - it is, of course. If you only did the 20%, you'd end up with, at best, B- results.

BUT, here's an example I bring up a lot and I think it makes a lot of sense here. The Pareto Principle (for me) is a reminder of exactly what you are alluding to in your OP - that everything matters, and you have to do it all, but not everything has to be balls out. I have/have had many swimmers who bust ass on EVERYTHING. Warm-Up? They will kick everyone's ass. A set of descending (each effort faster than the previous) 50s? They'll start out fast to beat everyone and then struggle mightily to do the set as prescribed. Technique drills? Ok, but if it's not at a gut-busting pace it's a waste to them. GO HARD OR GO HOME! BEAST MODE ALL THE TIME! These kids never begin to scratch their full potential, usually because of gross technical and tactical issues and/or injury...

Most people don't consider the role of reflection when it comes to practice and skill development. I don't know where that fits into the 80 or the 20, but it's a crucial ingredient.

I wrote this a while back: https://squatrx.blogspot.com/2008/11/my ... areto.html

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SubClaw
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Re: Another look at 80/20 principle

Post by SubClaw » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:34 am

Sangoma wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:12 am
Yeah, yeah, twenty precent of efforts produce eighty percent of the results. However, while browsing databases for various endurance training methods I have had a little revelation in this regard.

So, in the last couple decades the endurance world has gravitated towards the concept of spending 80% of training in low intensity high volume zone and devoting 20% of efforts to high intensity low volume stuff. 80/20 all over again, iznit? However, in this case it's the 80 that makes a difference and brings results.

I was thinking, in other areas of life, those 20% of efforts that bring most of results will not work in isolation from the "useless" 80% of the efforts. Gurus of all kinds of life coaching, self-help and motivation don't get tired referring to 80/20, urging you to concentrate on the really useful 20% of action. I think, however, they don't understand that if you want to achieve success you cannot avoid 80% of what is later marked as fruitless effort. So called useless business activities - meetings that led nowhere, phone cals that ended where they started, Internet searches that [roduced no leads and so on - all this produces important effects. If nothing else the "useless" activity teaches you consistency, persistence, discipline and the ability to continue in the face of bland nothing. And in spite of solemn words in the last sentence there is nothing romantic or heroic about it. You do what has to be done, and eventually some of the efforts produce results.

And I am not even high or drunk...
Maybe we should spend 80% of our time doing that important 20% over and over again.

Junk miles for a runner, below 75% 1RM for a lifter, playful sparring for a fighter...

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