Work Wiser #7: Overcome Overwhelm

Hello, my name is Wan How. I’m a career and project management coach. We’re now in February and you may be starting to feel overwhelmed.

Projects that were due in December last year we’re postponed to January. Even though they have not been completed, new projects have been assigned to you. People were let go last year and have not been replaced. New hires take time to be on- boarded and trained. So you don’t see them being much help so much further down the road. In the meantime, there’s so much to do.

You need some focused time to wrap your head around some of these new projects that have been assigned to you. But you just don’t have the time. You’re being pulled in so many different directions. So you’re just wondering, “how can you get this all done?” Take a deep breath.

First off, recognize and accept that you cannot do everything to perfection. How do you feel? Give yourself permission to not do everything to 100%. Now ask yourself, “What does good enough look like and then apply the 80-20 rule. What’s the 20% effort that you can put in right now in a short space of time to get all your deliverables to 80% of the final result? What you shouldn’t be doing is to put all your energy into one deliverable and get it to 100%. That is not the strategy.

The strategy is look at all your deliverables, put in 20% effort for each one of them, get each one of them to 80% first and then go back and prioritize. If you have time and if something is high-priority go back for a second iteration. Do the next 80-20 to get it to 96%. If you run out of time and you don’t have time and it’s low priority, at least you’ve gotten to 80%.

Maybe down the road, later in the year, you can go back for a second iteration. This is how you apply an agile mindset to tackle your workload. Thank you for watching if you like this video and you would like to see more of it, please like share and connect with me.