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The 80/20 rule

I’m not skilled in a lot of things that I should be to ensure my survival after an event. I just don’t have the time to learn and a long time ago I resigned myself to that fact. I just wasn’t going to have the time to become proficient at so many things.

So, I bit the bullet. I decided that what I would do was to learn as much as I could, from books, others or just by trying myself, and following the 80/20 rule which says that you can learn 80% about a subject in 20% of the time whilst the final 20% takes 80% of the time to master. I should be able to spend enough time with the critical items to learn 80% of what I needed to know. I’ve always been a prolific reader and thus I spend time reading books, identifying what I need for that task and then buy what I need to put aside. The intention is that when I needed to perform the task I had the tools, if not the experience. Hopefully, someone else would have more experience or I could spend some time, make do while I learn. It is better than nothing. Thus I have books on many diverse things like bee keeping, ducks, windmills, fishing, boat building and a wide variety of tools.

Sure, I won’t be able to take full advantage of certain situations but I get to learn about so much more. That’s why I don’t like joining things. When I was looking at Bee’s everyone said join a club, when I was looking at bows everyone said join a club. To be fair they though I want to join their hobby not just learn the basics. Bows make the perfect example of this. I am poor with a bow. I can hit a big target and that is it. I could spend weeks practising and being taught by an expert at some cost so I can hit a bull 9 times out of 10. My view is I practised until I understood what is going on, what I needed. I then bought the kit and then moved on. I spent a fraction of the time necessary to learn. partly, because I have revised my plans. I now intent to hunt with a crossbow. After an event I will then practise more with the bow because it is my fallback for when the crossbow is damaged. At that time, and only that time, do I need to be any good with it.

Thus I can prioritise my time. I can learn other things so instead of being an expert on bees, bows and candlemaking. I am an enthusiast and aware amateur in those and many more subjects which will be of more use after an event.

Of course if you like archery then take it up as a hobby, it is fun, but don’t spend time on it if you don’t. Just do enough to get you 80%. The remaining time you can spend getting to the same level on several other subjects.

It is going to take a generalist who is adaptable to survive well beyond an event. Don’t specialise if you don’t want to. Learn a bit about everything.

This also means I don’t know the best radio, the best bow, the best beans; I like you take advice from others in the know and buy knowing that my system may not be the best but it is recommende and going to do the basics that I want at an acceptable price.

2 comments to The 80/20 rule

  • Kenneth Eames

    Excellent SD, I agree with all what you say. This has always been my belief. Like you, I have always had many irons in the fire. My wife and many of my friends, cannot understand the many subjects that I am interested in. I think that the best survivors are those that have the greatest range of knowledge. Kenneth Eames.

  • fred

    Seems the only sensible way to go about it.

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