Hello! I am Sharon Strickland-Clark, a professional coach dedicated to helping individuals and businesses achieve their highest potential. Today, I want to share a surprising revelation that deeply influenced my coaching approach. This revelation involves an intersection between a popular saying, a well-known principle, and a fascinating mathematical concept – “how you do one thing is how you do everything,” the Pareto Principle, and fractals, respectively.
How You Do One Thing Is How You Do Everything
This is a common phrase in the coaching world, and it’s one that has profound implications. The premise is simple: our habits, attitudes, and behaviours in one area of our lives often reflect how we operate in others (1). If you’re consistently late for meetings, for example, it’s likely you struggle with time management in other areas too.
The phrase suggests a mirror-like effect. Seeing how you handle small, seemingly insignificant tasks can provide a window into your broader life approach. It’s not just about what you do, but how you do it.
The Pareto Principle
Commonly known as the 80/20 rule, the Pareto Principle (2) suggests that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. Originating in economics, it’s now widely applied in business, suggesting that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. The challenge lies in identifying and maximising that crucial 20%.
Finally, let’s talk about fractals (3). These are complex, infinitely detailed patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They’re found in nature, art, and mathematics. Like our behaviours and habits, fractals repeat themselves in various scales – the small reflecting the large and vice versa.
The Surprising Intersection
Now, let’s connect the dots. The phrase “how you do one thing is how you do everything” is a behavioural fractal. It’s the small patterns of our actions, repeated at larger scales in various areas of our lives.
The Pareto Principle is also a fractal pattern, reflecting the recurring theme of a small portion having a disproportionate impact. It provides a practical tool to identify and leverage the high-impact 20% in our behaviours.
These concepts are not merely philosophical musings. They have tangible implications for how we spend our time and how we can improve our productivity, health, mindset, and overall well being. And I don’t know about you, but now I know why that phrase feels so expansive, I’m much more open to allowing it into my day.
Research supports the connection between productivity and wellbeing (4). When we consciously focus on maximising productivity – identifying the critical 20% – we create space to prioritise our health and mindset. It’s not about working more, but working smarter.
As a professional coach, my role is often to guide my clients in connecting these dots in their own life. What that might look like is:
- Identify these behavioural fractals – the recurring patterns in life.
- Use the Pareto Principle to find high-impact 20% – the actions that yield the most substantial results.
- Establish better habits, supporting implementation and teaching how to do things differently.
By understanding and leveraging these interconnected principles, you can create positive transformational change for yourself, your team, and ultimately, your business. It’s a journey of self-discovery and growth, and I’m honoured to guide my clients through it.
As we embark on this transformative journey, it helps to remember that change doesn’t happen overnight. Patience, commitment, and consistent effort are key. However, with the right guidance and tools, we can leverage our time and energy in the most effective way, enhancing not only our productivity but also our overall wellbeing.
To quote the words of the renowned author, Richard Koch, “The 80/20 principle asserts that a minority of causes, inputs, or effort usually lead to a majority of results, outputs, or rewards.” (2) In essence, by identifying and focusing on the 20% of our actions that yield 80% of our results, we can drastically enhance our productivity and create a more balanced, fulfilling life.
The beauty of this approach lies in its fractal nature. Just like the infinite patterns seen in mathematics and nature, the principles of effective time management and maximised productivity can be applied across all areas of our lives.
So what do you think? Are you ready to delve into this transformative journey and harness the power of your habits?
I’m here to help.
Together, we can identify your unique behavioural patterns and use these insights to create a personalised plan that will guide you towards your goals.
Remember, how you do one thing is how you do everything. By consciously focussing on maximising your productivity, you can create space to prioritise your health, mindset, and overall well being. I look forward to joining you on this exciting journey to personal and professional growth.
If you’d like to talk about how I could help you to build a tailored plan to reach your goals, please contact me here
- Clear, James. “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones.” This book explores the concept of how small habits manifest in all areas of life. You can find it on various online book retailers.
- Koch, Richard. “The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less.” This book explores the Pareto principle in depth. It can also be found on various online book retailers.
- Mandelbrot, Benoit. “The Fractal Geometry of Nature.” This book discusses fractals in nature and mathematics. It is available on multiple online platforms.
Public Health England has also released several reports on the link between productivity and health and wellbeing in the workplace. You may find these reports on the official website of Public Health England.