Not all work is equal.
TLDR: The ability to ignore the unimportant will make room for important things to fill your life.
I was bad at school - so I went to art school.
It was a blessing to have come paths with a geeky engineer from the top university in Singapore, who would open my eyes to a way of thinking that was not even in my universe.
The first of these ideas was the Pareto Principle. Which states that roughly 80% of the. Consequences come from 20% of the causes. (The vital few)
You use 20% of the features on photoshop for 80% of your work
20% of your products and services represent 80% of the sales
20% of marketing efforts represent 80% of results
80% of sleep quality occurs in 20% of sleep
80% of stress is is caused by 20% of stressors
80% of opportunity is created by 20% of investigative impulses.
I was bad at school so I failed to see why this was important information. My geeky friend was patient and kept approving it from different angles until I got it. I got it the applications are limitless, but
Let me try to summarise what it means to me.
If I get good at identifying ‘the vital few,’ I can free up 80 of my time to do other things. And still achieve 80% success in a particular area.
I can than employ the other 80% of my time to other ‘20% causes’ generating more 80% successes
Done correctly I become 400% more productive
Some specific applications for illustrators:
You can work 1 day a week and earn 80% of your income if you only focus on work that you are got at.
You can learn the most if you study under the best teachers.
20% of illustrators are doing 80% of the work, what ways are they spending your time that you are not, what ways are you wasting your time that they are not.
Work when you have your best energy, use that 20% of quality energy to do 80% of your best work
Use your recovery time to maximise your renewal
Limit your style to focus on using 20% of techniques, tools, colours well. Artist might argue it’s important to experiment, sure it is - do 80% of your experimenting on 20% of your projects.
I think the reason people don’t apply this powerful principle is an inability to ignore the unimportant.
Article - 100 Examples of the Pareto Principle and 35 insights