giovedì 9 novembre 2017

The 1% Rule

Many years ago at my first job, I heard one of the bosses say “We do 80% of the work in 20% of the time and it takes us 80% of the time to finish the 20% of the work”.

I have thought about that phrase ever since. 

It pops up in my mind so easily when I casually tell my boss that “the file it’s done, it only needs retouching.” and then it seems like it’s never finished. When I meal prep for an army and I can never finish cleaning up afterwards. That should be the 20% of the work! but it definitely needs more effort on my part.

The Italian economist and philosopher ( how cool of a guy must he have been) Vilfredo Pareto was the first one noticing this pattern that has been the basic for every statistic class ever since .

This rule is THE rule. The rule for life.

It applies to everything in the world : from world economics to soccer to nature.

8.4 percent of the world population controls 83.3 percent of the world's wealth. and out of 77 competing , just 3 countries- Italy, Brasil and Germany- have won 13 out of 20 soccer World Cup.

(Italy has many other examples of excellences that perfectly describe this principle but let’s keep it on the good. )

In the Amazon forest there are 16,000 species of trees, 200 of which cover half of the forest. 

How this 1.25 % of species achieve to cover 50% of the forest ?

One plant was slightly taller than the other and for the day it got more light and more water. The day after it has grown at a faster pace and will get even more light and more water and so on until that slightly edge at the beginning gave the plant to possibility now to shadow over his economics this is called the accumulative advantage.

Very small difference in performance will make a big difference in results if repeated over time: the 1% rule, i.e the heart of the Pareto Principle.

I know for a fact that if I try to change my behaviour completely I won’t be able to stick the change because humanly we’re against change and our body/mind will always tend to oppose it.

But what would happen if you change just 1% and keep changing it for a reasonable length of time?

If you aggregate marginal gains constantly for the next year where would that get you?

I work 8 hours a day. 1% of which is 5 minutes. If I improve just a little tiny 1% a week, that gets me to 25 minutes of productivity that I’ve gain. It’s a whole file. A long email. Even a meeting!

I’ve been listening to the same groups and singer since I was 14 years old. I can count them on my fingers. Of one hand. 

1% of all the music ever written it’s a lot of music. It would mean to tenfold a hundred times what I listen to.

On the rowing machine I did the 500 meter sprint in 1 minute 47 seconds. Then I started not doing them “this time” at the gym because I wasn’t rowing on the water for the winter. It’s 1 time , right? Out of all the times I did them! Then “ this other time” I didn’t do the sprint because I was tired from doing other things. Then “this time” and didn’t even sat on the rower. It now takes almost 2 minute to row 500 m.

Because , what you going to do?, the rule works both ways!

If I took just 1% more of the domestic tasks I share with the h , we would be even in 72 days. 

It want have an impact on the daily life, it’s just a tiny little difference.

But what would happen overall?

What if I improved 1% everyday on everything I do?

(random bits of Manchester lately)

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