Archives November 16, 2018

Richard Koch, the 80/20 rule, Pareto’s Principal #3

Show Links:

80/20 Principle by Richard Koch

Wilfred Pareto

multi-tasking is a myth

The Food Network Cauliflower recipes.


Hi All!

I am Erik Bowman your host and I really hope you enjoying this day, because it’s the only like it that you will ever experience.  Welcome to episode #3 of Mastering Mondays.  Where I share thoughts and ideas to help you live better.   Please know that Mastering Monday’s comes out in two formats a readable version on our Blog and email and Podcast Audio available clicking the Mastering Mondays Episode #3 in the email or  you can access all of those at  If you’d like to be put on the list to receive Mastering Mondays updates (currently I produce two per month), just let me know by emailing me at [email protected] or sign up at the website.  I am excited by the feedback I received so far.  What I now is that all of you are interested in living well and many of you are implementing some of the ideas we discuss here, and I can see that so many of you rightfully look forward to retirement with anticipation.  Keep your feedback and ideas coming.  Email, Facebook and website are great ways to communicate with me.  Let me continue to learn from your experiences and perspective.  You input is appreciated as I want to discuss ideas that you find relevant.

So let’s dig into how you can Master your Monday.

Here are areas of focus for me.  I’d love to know if any of these ideas inspire you and how.  Enjoy!

Reading is Fundamental

80/20 Principle by Richard Koch Now this is a two-fer.  I recommend the book and the topic is worth a separate discussion.  In 80/20 Mr. Koch explains the 80/20 principal and how to analyze your world to come up with ways of allocating your time to the most beneficial activities in your business or personal life and relationships.  I am just fascinated by the concept and have read it through.  A few highlights.  If you own a small business, you must read this book.   With his ideas around analysis and action, you are sure to run a better, more enjoyable business that meets your needs where you are now.  Knowing that it applies to most any action or activity, he discusses in detail how to apply these principles in your personal life.   Finally, he addresses some of the concerns people may have about the downside of such a perspective.  Few though they are.

Living Effectively

As mentioned above, I am reading a book by Richard Koch called the 80/20 Principle.  Many of you know that I am process oriented and am continuously seeking ways to be more efficient and effective, and this topic peaked my interest this summer.  I started noticing something.   High performers in any field or discipline seem to operate with the 80/20 rule in mind.  Or at least 80% of them did!  What is the 80/20 rule (commonly known as the Pareto Principle)?  Back in 1896 an Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, discovered that 80% of the land was owned by 20% of the people.  This led Pareto to the discovery that 80% of his tomatoes came from 20% of his plants.  Other examples: 20% of hazards cause 80% of injuries, roughly 20% of the exercises and habits have 80% of the impact etc.  He saw that this principle applied to most everything in life.   Put another way, 20% of your actions produce 80% of your positive outputs.  20% of your inputs create 80% of your problems.  In practice this might mean to simply focus on the 20% of your actions that create 80% of your benefit.  Eradicate the other 80% of actions and inputs with low marginal return.  Likewise, eradicate the 20% of your actions or inputs that produce 80% of your problems.   It turns out the universe does not actually prefer balance and does not seek 50/50.  For example, just look at the ratio of vacuum filled space vs. the total mass of stars and planets.  Space wins by a long shot.  Roughly 4% of the universe consists of matter like planets and stars.  This example shows that the ratio may even be more unbalanced in some situations like 96%/4%.  Imagine the leverage if you could live a 96 % / 4 % kind of life?  Look at almost any dispersion around you and you see that 50/50 is very uncommon.

I’ll leave it to your imagination to determine what actions lead to problems and what actions lead to positive results.  The question is, can we take advantage of this knowledge and do something with it to live better?  Immediately!  Since action is the only way to results, let’s start easy.  What are some easy changes that can literally add hours to our day.  Reduce screen time, control the flow of news and communication into your brain, don’t let the “noise” steal your hours, don’t have cereal in the morning (sugar!), learn how to batch e-mail communication, only do one thing at a time until you reach a target phase or completion, get rid of cable, get rid of news apps.  Sounds crazy?  It’s not.  You are smart and will know plenty of what is happening in the world without news apps.  Email batching is straightforward and multi-tasking is a myth.

You must understand that the most valuable asset you have is time.  The first real benefit you gain is access to more of your time.  What would you do with more time?  Focus even more intently and deeply on the high value activities?  Add new, high value activities to your life; that painting hobby you always wanted, learn to cook, volunteer with children (you do have experience after all)?  Spend more time with your spouse, family and friends.  Now that you have more time, wouldn’t you agree that enriching yourself and others with stronger relationships sounds amazing?   Application of this principle in my life has had a dramatic, positive impact on my life.  I get more done than ever, feel more creative and spend more time with my family and friends while accomplishing more than I thought possible.   If you’ve spoken to me in person lately, I think you know what I mean.

Food for Thought

Cauliflower.  I dreaded the idea of eating it as a kid and frankly until this year.   My wife, the best cook in the world, is continuously experimenting with ingredients and methods. Recently she made Cauliflower Baked Ziti, and we had a Cauliflower pizza crust.  As for the Pizza, I actually did not know it was cauliflower crust.  The cauliflower has an interesting consistency when baked and doesn’t detract from other ingredients such as tomato sauce or meat.   Its flavor is so mild, that it resembles bread or pasta and performs a similar supporting role for more dishes than you’d think. The biggest benefit I get is cutting out the starches.  I can’t say that Cauliflower is my everyday go-to food, however if cutting starches is on your list of goals, a periodic meal with Cauliflower can help you have a hearty meal and skip the starches.  Here is a link to The Food Network Cauliflower recipes.

Take Action

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”

-Robert Louis Stevenson

If you read these pages and think, “I really should do that” or, “I will read/do/drink/experiment with that”.  Don’t wait ~Take action.

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” -Henry Ford


Master your Monday and have a great week.



The 80/20 Principle

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