The One Rule to Follow When You Feel Overwhelmed at Work

Knowing where to focus when we’re feeling overwhelmed can be a huge barrier that, if faced successfully, can have a profound impact on our lives.

On Episode 155 of Productivity Paradox this week, I was joined by Taska, an entrepreneur who is facing a curveball in her personal life that has her feeling off track and unsure about where to focus so she can continue to grow her business.

Recently, Taska’s stepped up as the personal caregiver to her mother, who is facing health issues, and she has started feeling out of touch with running her business.

During our chat, we talk about prioritizing tasks that will get you closer to your goals and honing in on the “vital few” rather than the trivial many.

I also share how the 80/20 rule can help you make a more significant impact, which is what I would like to dive into even more today.

Now, if you have not heard of the 80/20 rule before, then I want to encourage you to give it a try the next time you find yourself with a lot on your plate at the office (or even at home!).

It’s one of my favorite rules to employ to combat stress and overwhelm, and so I am beyond excited to dig into it with you here.

Let’s get started!


The 80/20 Rule

What It Is – 

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle after it’s founder, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, is one that, when applied to productivity, asks us to focus on the vital few tasks on our list that will bring us the most results.

And this is because 80% of the impact we experience comes from focusing on 20% of what’s on our plate.


How It Works –

Let’s lean into that 20% of the 80/20 rule. What is it? How do you identify it when we’re talking about limiting overwhelm and boosting productivity?

The 20% is going to be those vital few tasks that Taska and I talk more about on Episode 155.

They’re the items you want to prioritize because they are the tasks that are going to give you that boost in productivity and sense of achievement you’re looking for.

So, the question here is: what are the vital few tasks on your list that will bring you the most impact at work when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed? By narrowing your focus to those few items, you’ll be able to take some of that overwhelm and turn it right on its head for the better.

And, if you need some help narrowing those tasks down by priority level, no problem! I’ve got Priority List Inserts to help – just in time for a fresh start in 2020. Pop them into your IWP Planner, and you’ll be good to go!

What are some things you do to fight off overwhelm at work? Share your favorite tips, tricks (and rules!) in the comments below …

And don’t forget to:

  • Tune in to Episode 155 of Productivity Paradox to hear more about Taska’s story and the tools we discussed to help her find more focus (and fight overwhelm) during her days and this busy season of life she finds herself in.
  • Purchase your Goal Setting Planner so you can focus in on 2020, with awareness on how you spend your time, so you can lean into each of the areas of your life to not only set goals but to truly achieve them!

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton