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4041 N. Central Ave., Ste. 1200
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Spring Break and the Pareto Principle

TXTS4 Leaders List

Spring Break and the Pareto Principle

Kimberly St Clair

It’s Spring Break season and time for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.  If you want to make sure you don’t finish Spring Break wondering where the time went, try using the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, to decide how to use your time. 

The Pareto Principle has been applied to many contexts as a guide to show that most things in life are not distributed evenly.  While the percentages aren’t meant to be exact, typically about 20% of your work would be considered high-yield work that produces about 80% of your results.  Likewise, about 20% of your students may create 80% of your behavior concerns and 20% of your staff may make up 80% of your school’s achievement growth.   

Let’s apply the Pareto Principle to Spring Break.  If you have 5 days off, 20% of the time is 1 day.  If you consider a full day that could completely rejuvenate you, how would it be spent?  Do you gain energy from interaction with friends or family?  Are you restored from spending time in the outdoors?  Do you need to sleep or pamper yourself?  Do you want your creativity to show?  Do you want to declutter a space?  Plan at least one day that brings you energy and restores you.  We hope you take time to disconnect with work and reconnect with what renews your mind and body. 

Your work will still be there when you get back, but sometimes getting key tasks done will help make the rest of the year go more smoothly.   If you only had one day to work on the most impactful, high-leverage work, what would you do?  Are there planning or vision-building tasks that you can do that would allow more distributed leadership or delegation of work in the future?  What tasks consume the 80% of low-yield work that you do?  Could you eliminate or reduce some of those tasks with a little planning now? 

Make the most of your Spring Break.  If you live in the Phoenix area, we have included a few free or inexpensive ideas to help you disconnect from work:

TXTS4 Leaders will be on hiatus next week in honor of spring break.