Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Secret of Achieving More with Less

Book Review

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret of Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch

(Reviewed by Vikram Karve)

The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80-20 rule) states that for many phenomena, 80% of the consequences stem from 20% of the causes.

Richard Koch takes a fresh look at the 80/20 principle and finds that the basic imbalance observed by Pareto way back in 1906 can be found in almost every aspect of modern life even today.

In this book, the author creatively and ingeniously extrapolates the Pareto Principle and discovers that it applies throughout our lives in every thread of it.

The 80/20 principle is relevant in managing time, work, people, emotions, friendships, love, marriage, personal health and relationships.

Take relationships, for example. 

Is it not true that 20 per cent of the people we deal with give us 80 per cent of our happiness?

What can you do to spend more quality time with these 20 per cent happiness givers?

Count on these people. They are your key friends, the 20 percent who contribute 80 percent of happiness and add value to the quality of your life.

The book is in four parts.

Part One (Overture) introduces the principle, is a bit analytical but interesting and tells us how to think the 80/20 way.

Part Two (Corporate Success need not be a mystery) discusses the application of the principle to the business management and corporate domains.

The meat of the book is in Part Three (Work Less, Earn and Enjoy More) where Richard Koch explores application of the 80/20 theory in a number of ways to diverse aspects of life.

Chapter 10 titled Time Revolution is superb, and I can vouch for the fact that concepts like being unconventional and eccentric in the use of your time and the application of high-value and low-value uses of time are really effective as I have incorporated them into my life with great success.

Of all the things you do during your day, only 20 percent really matter. 

Those 20 percent high-value uses of time produce 80 percent of your results and happiness.

Identify and focus on those things and make sure you make optimal high value use of time to achieve a harmonious balance between your work, home, social, self and other aspects of life.

Chapter 13 titled Intelligent and Lazy delves on the application of the Von Manstein Matrix.

General Von Manstein identified four types of officers in the German Officer Corps of the army.

First, there are the lazy, stupid ones. He suggests that they be left alone as they do no harm.

Second, are the hard-working, intelligent ones. These are excellent staff officers who ensure every detail is accurate.

Third are the hard-working, stupid ones. These, according to him, are a menace and must be fired at once because they only create irrelevant work for everybody.

And finally there are the lazy, intelligent ones, the 80/20 types - these select few are suited for the highest office.

The fourth and last part of the book (Crescendo) explains the success and failure of various approaches in social, government and economic issues with the 80/20 principle as an ever present thread.

This is an extremely readable, insightful and interesting book.

The secret of a happy and fulfilled life is not difficult.

This book will show you how to apply the 80/20 principle to focus on your best 20 percent in each aspect of your life and thereby enhance your quality of life and elevate your plane of living.

I suggest you keep the book on your table and refer to it from time to time.

The 80/20 Principle should serve as a daily reminder to focus 80 percent of your time and energy on that 20 percent that is really important.

Experiment, have fun, apply the Pareto Principle in various aspects and facets of your life wherever feasible, and use it wisely.

See for yourself how the quality of your life improves, you achieve a harmonious balance between your work life, home life and social life and you feel happy, tranquil and fulfilled.

It is indeed a captivating book. Read it. Apply the 80/20 Pareto Principle to your life. You will certainly benefit from it.

VIKRAM KARVE

 
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2010
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this book review.

© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

VIKRAM KARVE educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU, Lawrence School Lovedale, and Bishop's School Pune, is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, a Human Resource Manager and Trainer by occupation, a Teacher by vocation, a Creative Writer by inclination and a Foodie by passion. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. His delicious foodie blogs have been compiled in a book "Appetite for a Stroll". Vikram lives in Pune with his family and pet Doberman girl Sherry, with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/default.htm
Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile of Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve 
 
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