So what does a staph infection of the notorious “Super Bug” have to do with a blog related to time management and organization? Glad you asked!

I can hardly turn on my television without hearing about an outbreak of staph or horror stories about its effects. If I listen to enough of it, I am almost afraid to leave the house for fear of how I might be infected at every turn.

Thank goodness for those who do not stop there. They go a step further to tell me how to prevent infection. More importantly, they make it easy enough that I will actually do it: Wash your hands and put a Band-Aid over open wounds. That sounds simple. I can do that!

This simple advice reminds me of the “Pareto Principle.” Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian economist around the turn of the 20th century. Pareto observed that 80% of the wealth of Italy was held by 20% of the population, and that the remaining 80% of the population accounted for only 20% of the wealth. That observation has become known as “Pareto’s Principle,” or the “80/20 Rule.” It has been applied in many circles. A salesman may find that 80% of his sales are made to 20% of his customers. In your school, you may find 80% of the discipline problems coming from 20% of the students.

How can I ensure I will not contract the “Super Bug”? News accounts are full of detailed cleaning measures I could take. In fact, taking measures to avoid the infection could turn into a full-time job. Instead, I could pay attention to the Pareto Principle. Washing my hands and covering wounds won’t give me a 100% guarantee, but it does give me something simple that will greatly reduce my changes of infection..

What is going on in your life that seems to be taking 80% of your time yet yielding 20% (or less) of your results? Get rid of it! OK, maybe easier said than done. Let me rephrase. Examine it—closely. Some may have to stay. Some has been hanging around because that’s the way you have always done things.

Less time spent on what does not matter leaves more time to spend on that 20% which yields the 80% of your results. When is the last time you washed you hands? I think I will go do that now!