Living the 80/20 Way: Work Less, Worry Less, Succeed More, Enjoy More


In the provocative sequel to The 80/20 Principle, Richard Koch shows readers, step-by-step, the process of harnessing the power of the 80/20 Principle. With a focus on building stronger relationships with family and friends, Koch argues that we can achieve more by dedicating time to the few things that matter most, while worrying less about work.
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Living the 80/20 Way: Work Less, Worry Less, Succeed More, Enjoy More

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In the provocative sequel to The 80/20 Principle, Richard Koch shows readers, step-by-step, the process of harnessing the power of the 80/20 Principle. With a focus on building stronger relationships with family and friends, Koch argues that we can achieve more by dedicating time to the few things that matter most, while worrying less about work.
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Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Work Less, Worry Less, Succeed More, Enjoy More
In Richard Koch's previous book, The 80/20 Principle, he explained with numerous examples how 80 percent of results come from just 20 percent of causes or effort. For example, 80 percent of sales usually come from less than 20 percent of customers, fewer than 20 percent of drivers cause more than 80 percent of traffic accidents, and so on. In his latest book, Living the 80/20 Way, Koch examines the fundamentals of personal success and shows readers how they can apply his less is more and more with less ideas to their best 20 percent for better success with money, work, relationships and the good life.

Living the 80/20 Way does more than show readers how to do things differently: It also shows them how to do less in total. Koch explains that if we do more of the things that bring us joy, we can do fewer things in total and still transform our lives. Convinced that anyone can benefit by working less and fulfilling their passions more, Koch writes that rebalancing your life not only creates greater health and happiness, but it can also lead to far greater success.

Koch starts his book by explaining how the way most of us organize our personal and social lives is a mistake; we should live to work instead of working to live. His point is that if we have more self-confidence and the right philosophy, we can accomplish more than we do now, enjoy the work we do more, and spend less time working so we can spend more time with our families and friends. Koch writes that if we apply the 80/20 principle to our lives as individuals, we could enjoy life much more, work less, and achieve more.

A More Productive Way
According to the 80/20 principle, a small minority of causes leads to a vast majority of results. Koch writes that if we know what results we want, we can look for a more productive way to get those results. He explains that if readers apply the 80/20 principle to the way they organize their private and social lives, they can make more money, gain more status, get a more interesting job and make life more exciting.

Koch writes that getting more with less delivers on two promises:

  1. It is always possible to improve anything in our lives, not by a small amount, but by a large amount.
  2. The way to make the improvement is to ask, What will give me a much better result for much less energy?

Although expecting more with less might seem to be unreasonable, Koch writes that this is exactly the reason why improvement is possible. By deliberately cutting back on what we put into a task and yet asking for much more, we force ourselves to think hard and do something different. He explains that this is the root of progress.

Koch writes that the trick to getting more with less is picking activities offering a higher reward for less energy.

Blossoming Sidelines
Throughout Living the 80/20 Way, Koch asks many questions that force the reader to question the way he or she spends time. Could you spend more time on the things you enjoy, even without quitting your day job? Could a hobby, interest or sideline in your life blossom into a new career? Koch urges readers to find out by spending more time on the things they enjoy. By trying out new projects while you are still working at your normal job, he writes, you can experiment with different ideas until one clicks.

Time Revolution
Another idea found in Living the 80/20 Way is the dismissal of time management. We should manage those things that we are short of, such as money, he explains, and since we are not short of time, it is inappropriate to try to manage it. Instead of managing our time so that we can speed up, Koch writes that we should look to time revolution to slow us down and help us to do fewer things. Instead of writing a to do list, we should make a not to do list. Act less and think more, he writes. Stop doing anything that isn't valuable, that doesn't make you happy.

One of the primary points that Koch repeatedly returns to is the idea that the present moment is where we need to live. By confining ourselves to the present moment and enjoying it, he writes, we can be proud of our past and hope for our future. The 80/20 view of time makes us more relaxed and 'connected.' Once we are connected, Koch shows us how we can focus on our best 20 percent and find the personal power, happiness and success that are waiting there to be sparked into life. ~

Why We Like This Book
Living the 80/20 Way offers readers a shortcut to their personal destinations by presenting the questions that need to be asked along the way and providing a philosophy that can be applied to each step. By emphasizing focus and enjoyment while discussing work and success, Koch presents a road map that can help anyone get farther on his or her personal journey to success in business, life and relationships. Vivid stories about those who have embraced his lessons help to make them more actionable. Copyright © 2005 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781857886184
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/15/2014
  • Pages: 196
  • Sales rank: 199,074
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Koch is the author of thirteen books including the international bestseller, The 80/20 Principle—which was named one of GQ's Top 25 Business Books of the Twentieth Century. Formerly a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group and a partner with Bain & Company, Koch is now a self-described lazy entrepreneur whose ventures have included consulting, personal organizers (Filofax), hotels (Zoffany), restaurants, and premium gin. He lives The 80/20 Way in London, Cape Town, South Africa, and the sunniest part of southern Spain. For more information, visit his website at
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2005

    Get What You Want out of Life with Less Effort and Less Time

    Although I also liked his original book The 80/20 Principle, Richard Koch has done a much better job in applying Vilfredo Pareto¿s 80/20 principle to everyday life in Living the 80/20 Way. The 80/20 principle means that in any area of life a few (approximately 20 percent) are vital and many (approximately 80 percent) are trivial. The key is to focus your time and energy on the 20 percent of your work projects, friends, investments, and leisure activities that are really important. As the author of the international bestseller The Joy of Not Working (over 200,000 copies sold and published in 16 languages), I can lay claim to a measure of success not attained by the majority of people in North America. In fact, not so long my net worth was minus $30,000. Yet today I have a comfortable net worth, work only four to five hours a day, and have an income in the top 20 percent of wage earners. To get there I have implemented the following principles, which in one way or another are emphasized and expanded on by Richard Koch in Living the 80/20 Way. 1. Put more effort into simplifying your life and less into complicating it. 2. Reject the adage that everything worth doing is worth doing well ¿ striving for excellence where excellence doesn¿t matter is the stuff that misfits are made of. 3. Concentrate on the things that really matter and be oblivious to practically everything else. 4. If you work more than eight hours a day, you are in the wrong job - either that or you are doing it wrong. 5. The belief in the morality of hard work signifies a hard head. 6. Forget about security and focus on opportunity. 7. Live life on your own terms and not someone else¿s. The material in this book can be much more valuable than an MBA if you would like to get what you want out of life without killing yourself for it. I should know. I have an MBA and have never found anything worth reviewing from the courses I took in the program. Yet I find Living the 80/20 Way a great resource for reminding me what helped me become successful. It is also a valuable reminder for how I can continue to work fewer hours than most people and be more successful at what I do than most people who work in the same field.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012



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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2005


    Agreeing with author Richard Koch, you might say 20% of the statements in this book produce 80% of its value. Koch says he wrote this book because his last one, `The 80/20 Principle,¿ was too complex for some readers. As a result, Koch¿s writing, which is straightforward and concrete, at times borders on the simplistic. He illustrates each point with interesting stories and examples, some of which seem elementary to the point of being silly. That said, Koch¿s application of Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto¿s classic 80/20 rule is very useful. The modern interpretation of Pareto¿s law holds that 80% of your productivity stems from 20% of your activities - do more of these meaningful things, and less of the others, and you can actually become more productive while decreasing your workload. This is a valuable concept for busy people who want to be more productive while also reducing their stress. Koch¿s emphasis on flow, simplicity and following your passion are also useful. Some parts of the book reflect mainstream self-help literature - don¿t be surprised if you¿ve heard some of it before. Koch includes worksheets to help you apply the 80/20 principle to your life. We recommend this book as a good introduction for self-help readers and those looking to do more with less.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2010

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