About Us

We provide online therapy to high achievers in New York.


We specialize in supporting high achievers facing a range of challenges such as:


You have questions. We have answers.

From the Blog

The 80/20 Rule for Perfectionists

We know that striving for perfection can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s in our nature to go the extra mile, but often, that extra mile turns into a marathon. The quest for perfection can be exhausting, and it’s time to bring balance into our lives. That’s where the 80/20 rule comes in.

What is the 80/20 Rule?

The 80/20 rule, or the Pareto Principle, is a fascinating concept that has profound implications for our lives, especially for those of us who are relentless perfectionists. At its core, the 80/20 rule is a rule of thumb, a simple yet powerful idea that suggests that 80% of outcomes result from 20% of causes. In essence, it tells us that not all efforts or inputs are created equal, and a minority of our actions or choices often have a disproportionately significant impact on the outcomes we desire.

Now, let’s break it down further with this Pareto Principle example. Imagine you’re an author working on a book. The 80/20 rule suggests that roughly 20% of the chapters or sections you write will contribute to 80% of the book’s overall quality and success. These might be the chapters that contain the most crucial information, captivating stories, or brilliant insights. The remaining 80% of your work, while not unimportant, doesn’t carry as much weight in determining the book’s overall impact.

In a more general sense, the 80/20 rule can be applied to various aspects of life. A Pareto Principle example, in your job,  implies that 20% of your tasks will likely generate 80% of your results. In business, a Pareto Principle examples can be that 20% of your customers are responsible for 80% of your sales. The key idea here is that by identifying and focusing on this vital 20%, you can make the most significant improvements or generate the most substantial returns with a more efficient use of your time and resources.

This rule isn’t about taking shortcuts or neglecting the remaining 80% of tasks or efforts; rather, it’s about prioritizing and allocating your energy and resources where they matter most. It’s a reminder that perfection is often not necessary across the board, and achieving excellence in key areas can be both more manageable and more rewarding.

Steps to Applying the 80/20 Rule

Step 1: Self-Reflection

Deep self-reflection is your compass in the journey of applying the 80/20 rule effectively. It’s like plotting your destination on a map before setting off on a long trip. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:

  • Short-term and Long-term Goals: Start by defining your goals—both the ones you wish to achieve in the short-term and those that are part of your long-term vision. This process allows you to create a clear sense of direction in your life and work.
  • Priorities: Delve into your inner values and convictions. What truly matters to you? What aspects of your life or work hold the most significance? Identify your top priorities, as this knowledge will serve as the foundation for your 80/20 journey.
  • Alignment: The essence of this step is aligning your actions with your priorities. By understanding your objectives, you can ensure that your efforts are channeled in the right direction. Think of this step as defining your ‘why’ – why you do what you do, and why some tasks or goals are more important than others.

Step 2: Identify the Vital Few

With your goals and priorities defined, you’re now ready to dig deep into your tasks and responsibilities. This step of the Pareto Principle involves:

  • Critical Examination: Take a hard look at your to-do list and responsibilities. Your objective is to distinguish between what’s essential and what’s not. What are the core tasks or activities that, if executed exceptionally well, will propel you closer to your goals?
  • High-Impact Focus Areas: These are the ‘golden nuggets’ in the sea of tasks. They might be the key projects at work, the pivotal responsibilities in your personal life, or the essential skills to develop. These are the areas where your time and effort will yield the most significant results.

Step 3: Time Allocation

Now that you’ve identified your focus areas, it’s time to allocate your most valuable resource – time:

  • Focused Energy: With the 80 20 Pareto Principle time management, allocate a substantial portion of your time and energy to these key tasks to achieve a better work-life balance.. This doesn’t mean abandoning the remaining 80% of your responsibilities; it’s about ensuring that you give your best effort and undivided attention to what truly matters.
  • Prime Hours: Identify your peak productive hours and dedicate them to your focus areas. This maximizes your chances of success as you channel your energy when it’s most potent.

Step 4: Delegate or Eliminate

For the tasks that fall into the less critical 80%, it’s essential to consider delegation and elimination:

  • Delegation: Determine if some of these tasks can be delegated to others without compromising quality. Trusting others to take on certain responsibilities can free up your time and expertise for more critical matters.
  • Automation: In some cases, automation tools and technology can help streamline less critical tasks, reducing the time and effort required.
  • Elimination: If certain tasks don’t significantly contribute to your goals, don’t hesitate to remove them from your to-do list. This step lightens your workload and allows you to focus on what truly matters.

Step 5: Track Progress

Consistent monitoring and tracking are key to your journey:

  • Performance Evaluation: Continuously assess whether your focus areas are delivering the expected outcomes. Are you making progress toward your goals? This ongoing evaluation helps you remain aligned with your objectives and adjust your strategies as needed.

Step 6: Embrace Imperfection

To embrace imperfection effectively, consider these points:

  • Different Levels of Perfection: Realize that not everything needs to be perfect. Some tasks may require excellence, while others may be okay with being good enough. Acknowledging this distinction can help reduce the stress associated with perfectionism.
  • Productivity Over Perfection: Understand that striving for perfection in every task can hinder your overall productivity. Embrace the idea that good enough is sometimes more than sufficient, allowing you to accomplish more in less time.

Step 7: Avoid Procrastination

Procrastination can be a common pitfall for perfectionists. To avoid this trap:

  • Action Over Perfection: Recognize that waiting for everything to be flawless can lead to delays and missed opportunities. Starting with the vital 20% and aiming for progress is often more valuable than waiting indefinitely for perfection.

You don't have to navigate the maze of perfectionism alone. We're here to help you thrive and find your own version of excellence.

Breaking free from perfectionism is a significant stride towards reclaiming your mental freedom. The 80/20 rule, or the Pareto Principle, is one way of looking at things to see if you’re managing your time and energy efficiently, but regardless of how well you prioritize, imperfection is a part of life.  It’s crucial to understand that each person’s path to overcoming perfectionism is unique, and not every approach will yield the same results for everyone. Moreover, perfectionism may sometimes intertwine with other challenges, like anxiety, trauma, or relentless self-criticism. At Uncover Mental Health Counseling, we have dedicated therapists in NYC who can assist you in addressing and conquering perfectionism in your life. To start your journey towards a more balanced and fulfilled life, consider these steps:

  1. Reach out to Uncover Mental Health Counseling to schedule a complimentary consultation call.
  2. Connect with one of our experienced NYC therapists for an initial assessment session, where you can discuss your perfectionism and its impact on your life.
  3. Begin receiving the guidance and support needed to break free from the grip of perfectionism, allowing you to unleash your true potential and find inner peace.

Share via:


More From Our Blog