Have You Heard of the 80/40/10 Rule?
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

I am always looking for ways to improve. I just discovered a new way to help me get more out of my days. It’s the 80/40/10 rule and it may also help you.

New insights on how to live can really help us see the world differently. I like this rule because it challenges my conventional thinking and helps me accomplish my goals in personal health, perseverance, and having more time for my priorities. Are these goals you are after also? If so, read on.

The 80 in the rule refers to eating healthy. The rule is to eat until you feel 80% full. This is wise guidance. We tend to over stuff ourselves in America. I know I can easily do this. In fact, we all can. Science tells us that we get signals from our stomach when we are full. However, these are often delayed depending on how fast we eat. We can find out too late that we are full after we have overeaten. This happens to me. If I attempt to eat until I am 80% full, I will eat less, maintain my weight more easily, and feel more lively when I am at work or at home.

The 40 refers to our effort. When we feel challenged, bored, or tired, we are really about only 40% of the way to our limit. This rule was developed by U.S. Navy Seals. What they determined is they can push forward and find a new level of capability. They know that their minds are telling them they are at a limit well before their bodies reach that limit. Persevering and pressing forward allows us to get more done and get more out of our lives than we might think we initially can.

Finally, the 10 stands for the amount of time to hold in reserve. Time is our most precious resource. If you are like me, you tend to overbook your day. This makes it hard to find time to do the things that are important or the things you may need to do but do not have the time in your schedule during your day. The 10% rule applies to the amount of time that you should hold in reserve and not schedule. Ten percent of your wake time each week is about 11 hours, or about 1.5 hours per day. If you allocate this time as unscheduled time, it can be used for those important things that you notice throughout your day. This could be deep work on an important project you have been delaying or time with a colleague who really needs your attention. With time in reserve, you can now address those really important priorities.

The 80/40/10 rule can greatly enhance your day. The net impact can be significant. Just this week, I made sure I used it to improve my life. Last Sunday, I observed it and saw its impact. I was aware of my eating which helped me feel more energized during the day. I also was able to push through a tough task remembering the 40% rule. Finally, I had reserved 10% of my time – that extra 1.5 hours. I used it to spend time on a walk with my family and extra time at meals talking to them. I had a better day all because of the 80/40/10 rule.

Do you think you could benefit from the 80/40/10 rule? How would you implement it in your daily routine? Why might you want to try this rule? Who else would you share this rule with that could be helped by it? Rules like the 80/40/10 rule can help us get the most out of our lives. We have a limited amount of time on this earth, we need to make the most of it.