Mental models provide a framework to comprehend abstract concepts, increase the speed and accuracy of problem-solving, and allow us to think beyond our current experiences.

By using mental models when approaching an issue, you can tap into the collective wisdom and experience of distinguished thinkers throughout history.

From Archimedes’ Principle of Leverage to Sherlock Holmes’ Principle of Deduction to the Pareto Principle (one of my favorites), these mental models offer powerful tools to help navigate uncertainty and make sound decisions with confidence.

I’ve found the Pareto Principle in particular to be useful for making quick assessments of large volumes of data. The Pareto Principle states that 80% of the effects come from only 20% of the causes. Also known as the 80-20 rule, this principle has found applications in business, economics, and even psychology.

It is most often used when evaluating efforts put in to gain results; usually indicating that a small percentage of effort will yield a larger percentage of results.

This rule is most effective for helping to prioritize your actions and can be used to make better decisions related to time management and allocation of resources.

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