Many people are interested in life hacks for increasing productivity and maximizing their return on time investment into activities. Everyone wants to be more successful in life so it’s common to seek out information on how to change one or two things to make yourself more successful. If that is the kind of tips and advice you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place — we here at The Millennial Gentleman are here to help teach you about the 80/20 Rule, also referred to as the Pareto Principle.

What is the 80/20 Rule?

In the 19th century Italian philosopher and economist Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto developed the 80/20 Rule based on observations he made in his garden; he noticed that 20% of his pea pods produced the majority of the peas in his garden. He then started looking at other things such as wealth distribution and land ownership, and discovered that 20% of the population in Italy owned most of the land and possessed most of the wealth. This developed into what is referred to as the Pareto Principle, which is an aphorism (an observation that contains a general truth). While this is not a hard science, generally speaking in any group you’ll find roughly 20% of that group is responsible for 80% of the utility of that group.

As an example let’s take your wardrobe. Chances are that while you may own many clothes, roughly 20% of your clothing is actually worn regularly by you. You’ll often wear the same shoes, pants, shirts and coats even if you own a variety of them. This is because some clothes just have more general utility than others — I rarely dress in my formal attire because they are for special occasions and events. Most of the time I wear my Lucky brand jeans and a black t-shirt.

If you’d like more proof this is relevant to you, consider your phone app; you probably don’t use the majority of the apps on your phone, right? Only around 20% of them get used frequently by you and are responsible for at least 80% of your monthly bandwidth usage.

The 80/20 rule is also applicable to dating; if you are using an online app, you’ll find that somewhere around 20% of the women you message will reply to you. Likewise a low percentage (like 20%) of the women on the dating service are receiving the bulk of the messages as these are the most attractive and desirable ones.

In business, the 80/20 rule usually turns out to be that 20% of your customers are responsible for 80% of your income — a good example of this is with any kind of micro-transaction business model, such as in gaming. Whales spend far more than the majority of the playerbase does, and make up for the lack of purchases made by other free players. You can also find that 20% of the work a company does can be responsible for 80% of the revenue it generates — this tends to lead to downsizing inside companies that expand too quickly. In an ideal world all employees would contribute equally to the company but that’s just not how it works in practice — you always end up with A team players and B team players in your employee roster, and eventually you have to lay off or even fire the underperforming employees because they aren’t pulling their own weight.

How to Take Advantage of the Pareto Principle 80/20 Rule to Succeed in Life

The 80/20 Rule, or Pareto Principle, is very useful for improvising productivity and time management. It helps a person realize they can focus on the most productive tasks and reduce the time you spend on less productive ones.

As a personal example (that is likely very relatable to many men) I used to spend a lot of time playing online MMORPG videogames like World of Warcraft, Ragnarok Online and Final Fantasy XIV. I was a huge gamer back in the day — so passionate about it that my most well known YouTube channel was devoted to playing roleplaying videogames. Yet when I looked at what activities in my life helped me make the most money and therefore increased the quality of my life, playing videogames just wasn’t that productive for me personally. While some people find that playing videogames helps them launch a very successful career as a Twitch or YouTube creator, it wasn’t working out that way for me personally. While I gained millions of views and over 15,000 subscribers to my personal channel, the majority of my income was revenue from video production gigs I did for local businesses when I filmed a commercial for them, as well as revenue from affiliate links on various blogs I owned. Realizing this, I started looking to how I could leverage these skills to produce more revenue and I gravitated toward starting a YouTube MCN.

As another business example, with my blogs it tends to be that somewhere around 20% of the articles are responsible for 80% of the visits — the majority of articles don’t generate the bulk of the traffic. Understanding which topics generate the most interest and writing more articles about those topics helps me create more articles that will produce more revenue for my blogs.

By following the Pareto Principle you can spend less time on trivial and unimportant activities that don’t help you achieve the goals you are striving for, increasing your productivity.

How to Use the 80/20 Rule In Your Dating Life

Many men waste a lot of time on dating apps looking at profiles instead of going on actual dates. They also waste time dating any woman who will date them, instead of trying to focus on dating a high quality Cinderella type of woman. So it’s important to recognize that the majority of women on these dating apps should be avoided and try to focus on just the smaller pool of high quality women.

How a man should use a dating app like Tinder, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid and Match to maximize his time and get the best results is to swipe right and match with every woman. Don’t even bother reading her profile, just always swipe right. This is because women are overwhelmed with matches on dating apps, and it tends to be that every guy she swipes right on is a match for her. This means if you are not swiping right on every women then she won’t even randomly come across your profile at all– you cannot even get onto her radar unless you’ve already swiped right on her.

If you try to only match with women whose profiles you’ve read, you’ll waste hundreds of hours doing this. It is much simpler to spend an hour swiping right on every girl and then only read the profiles of the women you match with. This saves a tremendous amount of time.

The next thing to do is examine her profile for any signs of her being a Tinderella, then eliminate her from the pool if she shows these signs. Again, the majority of women on these dating apps are low quality women who will cause you nothing but problems in life if you waste any time with them. It’s best to just learn how to identify a Tinderella and then ignore her, even if she is super hot and matches with you. Again we’re trying to apply the 80/20 rule here to achieve OUR goals, not to achieve hers.

When you find a girl who might be a Cinderella type — a very high quality woman, you then send her a short message introducing yourself. I usually tell women that I am a traveling vagabond entrepreneur who has moved to the area and I’m looking for a nice girl in her state — then I make a call to action by asking her a question, “Maybe that’s you?” that is designed to encourage a response out of her so the conversation can begin.

Ys, this is a canned message but this is because around 20% of the women you message will actually reply to you. It would take too much time to actually think up something clever on every woman’s profile when 80% of them are not going to reply to you, and you have no idea who it is going to be that does respond. So save your cleverness for the girls that actually reply to your initial message. That helps you prioritize and focus on using your energy wisely.

Another way that the 80/20 Rule tends to be applicable to dating is that a woman will often fixate on the things you do 20% of the time over the course of the relationship instead of the majority. As an example, she may fixate on mistakes you make only once or twice, instead of the stuff you do correctly the majority of the time. I dated a girl for several years and only once did I ever shout at her to ‘shut up’ — and it was while I was recovering from a surgery. She was interrupting me on a very important phone call where I was arguing with someone, and she started yelling at me when I ignored her and continued to focus on the important phone call. Although this only happened once in the entire relationship, she fixated on it and made a huge deal about how I had ‘yelled at her’. This is just one example out of many from women who will try to turn a mole hill into a mountain.

The flip side of this is that women can also fixate on the good things you do some of the time and ignore the bad things you do most of the time, which leads to women who have unhealthy fixations on bad boys. Yet it is also true that if you give a woman too much attention then she will become rather spoiled and may not respect you. Therefore you should not constantly shower her with praise, gifts and just attention in general. I don’t mean by ignoring her when you are with her — what I mean is, don’t spend hours texting her on the phone and giving her tons of attention when you’re not physically with her. In a relationship the thing women want most from a man is attention, and part of the reason so many women are turning to things like Onlyfans is because they want male attention. So by easily giving your attention when she is not actually with you doing the things that you want her to do with you, she gets what she wants from you too easily and the relationship dynamic becomes unbalanced. It’s best, especially early in a relationship, to limit how much you chat via text as this encourages her to meet you for dates in order to get your attention. If she can just get that attention by texting you it reduces her need to meet you in person. This is especially important early in dating, as she is likely talking to many guys regularly through these dating apps while she focuses on spending her time with the alpha male types that are not constantly texting her like beta males do.

Have anything about this topic you’d like to say? Questions? Comments? Let us know in the fields below.


Carey Martell is Editor in Chief for The Millennial Gentleman. A thirty something modern man who is politically independent, non-religious but a firm believer in ideals of chivalry and traditional family values. Carey lives his life as a vagabond digital nomad traveling and living life to the fullest while managing his businesses remotely with a laptop and internet hotspot connection.