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How to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Your Side Hustle

Is your side hustle not going according to plan?

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but you’re not focusing on the right stuff. Or at least, that’s what Pareto’s Principle would tell you.

Simply stated Pareto’s Principle, or the 80/20 rule, says that twenty percent of what you do brings eighty percent of the results. In my own side hustle experiences I’ve found this to be true.

If your side hustle is failing, chances are you’re doing the busy work instead of the results-producing work.

You can turn this around by applying the 80/20 rule.

But First, Set Clear Goals

Before you can do anything to increase your chances of success you have to know what you’re working toward.

If you don’t have a goal then nothing is going to help you. So first define success (aka your goals.)

A set of clear goals for a side hustler might be reaching a certain amount of prospects each week, finding two new clients per month, or connecting with a certain person in your field of work.

Make your goals specific and actionable. But most of all make them meaningful to you.

20 Percent is Vital, 80 Percent is Trivial

Now comes the important part.

You see, as a side hustler you can often let fear, embarrassment, or laziness stop you from taking action on the stuff that really matters. Instead you do the same things over and over and over even though they aren’t bringing any results. And you wonder why you aren’t gaining any traction.

The truth is that twenty percent of what you do is vital and the other eighty percent doesn’t even matter – it gets you nowhere.

Free yourself from all the busy work and get down to the real business.

Focus on the 20 Percent

To find that twenty percent make a list of your goals and then make action steps to take you there.

Every day when you’re about to work on your side hustle make a list off all the things you need to do. Try listing ten things.

Now go through the list and immediately mark eight of those things off. Concentrate on the two tasks that will make a real difference in your business.

Everything else can be delegated to someone else or can be done at a later time. You shouldn’t even think about doing the eighty percent until you get the twenty percent completed.

Practice the 80/20 Rule Everyday

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t have side hustle success.

If you can eliminate the busy work and instead focus on the tasks that are vital to your business you’ll be amazed at how quickly you reach your goals.

On top of that your stress level will go way down. When you start your working day by first getting the most important tasks completed the rest of the day will be a breeze.

Try it today.

Get out of your rut and change up the way you do things. In a year from now you’ll be so glad that you did!



  1. Having as much focus as you can on your goals is extremely important. It’s easy to become side-tracked and focused on other things but that’s why I always remind myself of the goals I’m wanting to accomplish everyday.

  2. I found myself totally getting caught up in the social media aspect of blogging. I was literally spending hours a day on it. And while it’s an important support tool, it doesn’t actually bring in any earnings. So I’ve been working hard to make my investment of time more reflective of where the income comes from- freelance content creation.

    • I’ve been trying to do use pinterest and google+ more as I’ve heard it can have great results, but am putting an end date on it. If it works, awesome. If not, I’m not going to keep spending time trying to make something work that isn’t worth the time.

  3. I have been guilty of spending too much time on the 80% many times. Like the person above mentioned, I can blow hours on social media. I have been on a self-imposed “fast” from Facebook the past two weeks, and it has freed up a good bit of time I can waste on other things. :) lol

    Seriously though, I have been using that time to write and visit other PF blogs. Great article, and an excellent reminder to use my time more wisely!

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