I first heard about the 80-20 rule (or, thanks Wikipedia, The Pareto Principle) 5 years ago when I was handed a report to complete that was "pretty much done." The project manager warned me of the 80-20 rule when he mentioned there was a new requirement to include a few appendices. Ended up being an appendix for every letter of the alphabet THAT NEEDED TO CONTAIN EVERY DOCUMENT AND HISTORICAL PIECE OF INFORMATION PERTAINING TO THE PROJECT OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS! It did get done. Just took a little extra time.
Since then, I have noticed this theory everywhere. Managers like to use it to increase productivity, or get more from their remaining employees after a big lay-off. But I like to think of it more holistically. A lesson in acceptance. It's true particularly as a mother and always in my laundry room. Here are a few of my observations:
The last 20% of the housework won't get done 80% of the time (driving me crazy 100% of the time).
The last 20% of the morning prep won't get done the night before, ruining 80% of my mornings.
20% of the socks will be missing their mate 80% of the time.
The kids or husband may drive me crazy 80% of the time; but the remaining 20% of the time makes it all worth it.
20% of the work I do around the house will be appreciated ... 20% of the time?(Anyone mind if I coin a new 20-20 Mom Principle?)