Overwhelm vs Overwork: The 80/20 Rule For Spring Cleaning

Are you overwhelmed or overworked? They are not the same thing! Here's how I tackle both and avoid burnout.
Overwhelm vs Overwork: The 80/20 Rule For Spring Cleaning

Do you feel like you are on the edge of burning out? Are you overwhelmed or overworked? They are not the same thing! 

Few people address both issues and live in a constant state of exhaustion. It turns out I am no exception.

Last year I shared with you how I used the Pareto’s Principle (or the 80/20 Rule) at the core of my New Year’s Resolution to help me make some big adjustments in my daily work routine to engineer my desired professional results. This economic principle proves that, in general, 80% of your results come from just 20% of your efforts.

After a disastrous first attempt at some changes I was able to produce some incredible results. I now work less hours while using my time for more meaningful work all while making more money. Powerful stuff! And yet, something was still wrong. 

It turns out that the secret to my missing piece of professional success lied outside the office. I still ended most weeks, or even started many days, feeling burdened. 

It turns out that I had addressed my issues around overworking myself but hadn’t addressed the many ways in which I felt overwhelmed. I have missed a major area in need of optimization: my personal life.

This all came to a head recently when I woke up early to finish a load of laundry and clean the kitchen before walking to my office to start my back to back Zoom morning. While I actually love cleaning (yes, I’m one of “those” people), these seemingly simple tasks nearly led me to a full meltdown. Why? Because there was no space to complete them. The cabinets were cluttered with gifted appliances I never used. My closet was an overflowing mix of both my winter and summer clothes – thanks to the unpredictable temperatures of the changing seasons. 

I ended up pulling every single thing out of my kitchen cabinets and drawers and put them on the kitchen table. I wiped out all the little crumbs and spots and put back only the things I used on a weekly basis and genuinely loved. The rest went into a donation box. I then did the same to my closet. When I was finished it was such a beautiful sight that I found myself opening drawers and cabinets for no other reason than to just look inside and smile at the organized beauty. Everything had a specified place. And most importantly there was open space. I felt instantly lighter, basking in my Marie Kondo inspired joy. And this is just the beginning. 

I cannot tell you what a difference it has made in my professional life after I took the time to create space for everything to function with minimal effort in my personal life. 

Avoid burnout by tackling both what overwhelms and overworks you!