One of the most important questions that students have nowadays is how to use their time so effectively that they get the maximum out of their efforts. There are different categories of students. The first category is the one that thinks there is nothing like this. Everything takes a proper time and that cannot be reduced. They are partly correct. I mean everything takes time but it is not impossible to reduce that time. With efficiency, effort, and practice, you can reduce it. 

The second category is of the students who always look for shortcuts. They want some easy methods that can help them study within a minimum time. That’s again a wrong approach. The strategies that you call shortcuts are actually not good enough to prepare you for the exams properly. Some of them are good but they require some effort and willpower. 

Then there is a category of students who just keep fighting to get good grades without analyzing whether they are following the right method of studying. They are never able to identify the problems in their studying habits because they never analyze themselves. So, they mostly end up sticking at the same stage without growing. 

 There are also the students who have devised their study plans and perform maximum within that routine. Do you want to be one of those students? Here is a technique that can help you achieve more by doing less. 

80/20 rule

80/20 rule is also known as the Pareto principle after the name of a famous Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. The rule proposes the idea that the majority of the results are produced by the minority of causes. You can also say that there are relatively minimum reasons for the majority of things happening around us. The minimum in this rule is called 20 percent and the maximum is called 80 percent hypothetically. 

Pareto came up with this idea through the working of plants in his garden. He realized that only 20 percent of the pea pods were able to produce 80 percent of the overall healthy peas. Likewise, he realized that twenty percent of the land property is owned by eighty percent of the people in Italy. This led him to use and apply this principle in general life circumstances. 

For example, look at your lifestyle. You eat a few types of food maximum of the time, wear a few clothes maximum of the days, and acquire maximum information from a few pages of the book. As explained above, few can be the 20, and maximum can be the 80 according to the rule. Now, this is a hypothetical number that can be varied. The idea is just that the minimum of the things is responsible for the maximum of the results. 

The implication in the personal life

You can very simply utilize this principle in your personal life. Let us talk about your exams and how should you utilize your time.

Now, the exams cover a minimum of the syllabus. Your whole book is not going to appear in the exam. Only a selective syllabus and questions will be asked. The people who study smartly take care of the most important topics of the syllabus. You have to be attentive in the class to identify what is more important and what is not. Every teacher emphasizes the concepts that they consider more important. Such topics are more likely to appear in the exams. It is not that you should not prepare the rest of the topics. Just give the important topics a priority when preparing for the exams. 

Next is how can you best utilize your time. When you sit for studying, the initial 20 percent of the time sets the pace for the next hours you will be studying for. In simple words, this sets the tempo of studying. The most efficient people reach the state of ‘flow’ in this 20 percent of the time. This makes them achieve the maximum in the minimum time. So, give all of your focus to the initial time of studying. Your productivity will be determined by this time.


Ayesha Areej is a staff writer at The Academia Magazine

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