How to wield the Pareto principle to great efficiency

2018-04-10 @Lifestyle

I tend to aggressively limit certain activities to steps I consider sufficient in achieving a minimal viable effect. Unnecessary motions I find not only principally unattractive, but disproportionally wasteful in time and energy spent - resources better allocated elsewhere. As a result of drastic simplification strategies I feel happier and more successful with my tasks, on average, although my fairly aggressive filtration mechanism tends to distance some individuals and complicate certain relationships. There is cost benefit to any strategy in general, but I tend to employ those that lead to an average improvement overall.

The no free lunch theorem in control engineering effectively demonstrates that no model yields optimal results for all problems. In practical terms, any strategy I employ to attain certain effectiveness or energy savings under most circumstances is bound to backfire in some situation. Incorporating this knowledge, I could employ more complicated or a greater variety of strategies for managing daily challenges. This process, however, similarly (and often disproportionally) exhausts more energy while not leading to a notably greater overall improvement. Ultimately, this leads us back to the application of the Pareto principle:

  1. Simplify a strategy to attain a sufficient outcome in the respective undertaking.
  2. Only worry about strategies frequently enough applicable to warrant optimization effort.

You would probably find unwise to spend an hour devising an optimization for a 10-minute task encountered on only a few occasions. On the other hand, the effort may pay off by scaling the optimization across more problems or individuals.

As such, what areas do I target for the Pareto principle optimization?

The original term draws inspiration from the Italy land ownership distribution, but I eagerly and frequently incorporate the Pareto principle in a myriad of respective areas. Do you recognize any such potential in your workflow?

Questions, comments? Connect.