Today I want to address how to reduce your level of overwhelm while simultaneously increasing your level of happiness. Sound too good to be true? Hang in there with me. No… you are not about to see side effects for a new drug 😉
I want to discuss documenting 80/20 situations in your life. Personally, I adopted this practice after encountering the book The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch along with Tim Ferris’s practical application in his book The 4-Hour Workweek. It was a catalyst to significantly change my perception of time and energy.
The 80/20 Principle asserts 20% of events in your life are causing 80% of your stress, pain, or frustration.
Conversely, 20% of events in your life are causing 80% of your joy, happiness, and satisfaction.
The main idea behind Koch’s assertion is the Pareto Principle. So how do you “document 80/20 situations” in life?
The first step in the 80/20 exercise is to grab a blank page of paper and brain dump a list of things currently causing you stress, anxiety, worry, or frustration. List out all the things, big or small, without any filters. Once all your sources of pain have been dislodged from your brain, then go back through the list with a critical eye. Begin to identify items that cause the most stress. Then narrow those items down to the top 3-5 painful items.
Of these items what do you have control of? What can you eliminate or minimize? Eliminating or minimizing things from this list can often be the quickest wins to creating positive momentum in your life.
The second step is to complete the same exercise for those things bringing you the most joy and excitement. What is the 20% that brings 80% of your joy? Maybe it’s doing watercolor or drawing. Maybe it’s playing board games with your kiddos. Maybe it’s having a dance party with friends. Think about your last week, your last month; where did you have the most joy? What do you find yourself constantly dreaming about? What activities or projects gave you the most energy this week?
You now have a powerful summary of what is causing 80% of pain AND 80% of joy in your life. This gives you a targeted list to explore as you begin to intentionally take steps of transformational change. No side effects!
Be awesome this week!
p.s. If you’ve been enjoying these weekly posts the biggest compliment you could give is an honest review of my book Catalyst on Amazon
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