The 80/20 rule (originally known as the Pareto principle) is the law of vital few. It’s the principle of factor sparsity. In laymen’s terms, you get 80% of your results from 20% of your efforts.

In this article and podcast you will learn how to put the 80/20 rule for musicians to use in your music career.  Ready to take your music to the next level using only 20% of your time?

Before we get to the 80/20 rule for musicians lets look at how the 80/20 rule applies to life in general.

The 80/20 rule is proven over and over for pretty much everything.

Show Me The Money

In the world’s economy, 80% of the income is controlled by 20% of the people. In other words, from the opposite side of the spectrum, if you divide up all the income in the entire world, the vast majority would only control 20 percent.

Ok, so with that said, we say “tax the rich!”

Funny enough, the top 20% of the worlds income producers pay 90% of the worlds taxes! Put this another way, if you’re in the bottom 20% of income earners you pay less than 10% of the tax. Most likely, you pay almost nothing. I guess we should stop beating that dead horse.

Are You Going To Wear That?

Open your closet. You wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. If you gave away 80% of your clothes, you’d wear 20% of what is left in the closet.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Check this out, only 15% of players contribute to 85% of wins. Of course you need all the players on the team but the 80/20 rule is still in full effect. Heck, only the best baseball players hit above 20%. Only the greatest players hit the ball 30% of the time.

I could go on and on with examples of how this principle is everywhere in the world and lives but let’s get to how you can focus on using the 80/20 rule as a musician.

The 80/20 Rule For Musicians

The 80/20 rule for musicians is a simple principle I created that can be used every day to get more done. Most musicians have “day” jobs. Time is limited. Using the 80/20 rule for musicians you can focus on what needs to be done that will have the greatest impact.

  1. Make a List of 10 Thing You Need To Do

    This sounds so basic and simple and it is! If you don’t have a list then you don’t have a target. What are you trying to accomplish? What do you need to do to accomplish your goal? List the top 10 items on a to-do list.

  2. Prioritize Your List

    Look at your list. What is most important? Order your list by most important to least important. Don’t mistake this list as easy vs. hard. Forget if the task is easy or hard. Prioritize based on the importance.

  3. Focus on First 2 Items (80% of your time)

    Now that you have prioritized your list you need to focus on the first 2 items. If you have to, cover up items 3-10 with another piece of paper. Keep them out of mind. Focus on completing #1. Then move on to #2 and so on.You may not finish the first 2 items in a day. That’s fine. As long as you’re hustling and making progress then you have no worries. Persistence is the key to success.

  4. Repeat This Process

    Repeat this process every day. Before you go to bed make a list of the 10 things you need to do tomorrow. Always focus on the first 2 items until they are complete. The most important items (the first 2 items – 20%) will yield the most results (80%).


The 80/20 rule for musicians is a sure fire way to be at the forefront of hustlers in the music world. You don’t have to work 100% of the time as long as you focus on the most important 20%.

How GigFaster Can Help

We understand — making great music is your passion. It’s all about getting your music out there and sharing it with the world. However, trying to promote your music, find a label, or even just finding a place to play a gig can be daunting.

With GigFaster, you can get help booking gigs and promoting your music. GigFaster’s database has thousands of contacts across over one hundred music genres. It’s easy for you to get connected with a venue or promoter. We have low monthly rates and even offer a free trial. Start yours today.

Learning how to separate yourself from the pack can seem hard. You will feel you aren’t as talented or good looking as the artists you admire but that’s all false. Work hard, be focused and use the 80/20 rule for musicians to succeed.

Most importantly, never quit!


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Craig Kelley

About Craig Kelley

Craig helps indie artists book more gigs, promote their music and submit to record labels @ GigFaster and GigFaster University . His latest release is his 7th album, Not So Blue. His band has supported Grammy artists including Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Rick Derringer, Gary Hoey, Joan Jett, Fuel and many more. He is also the host of The 5 Minute Podcast For Musicians.

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