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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at App State chapter.

Sleep, wake up, class, homework, extracurriculars, work, repeat? This was what my every day looked like when I first started undergrad. I soon discovered that this approach was not viable to maintain productivity. “Hustle culture” often makes us feel guilty for taking time off. Burnout is a common phenomenon experienced by many college students, especially as midterm/exam season approaches. It refers to being unwilling to participate in mental or physical activities. It can be challenging to overcome burnout, especially when it becomes a persistent problem. Burnout can be caused by taking on more responsibilities than one can handle, lack of social support, and having an overall negative outlook on current situations.

One effective way to avoid burnout is to follow the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of your time should be spent on productive activities like attending classes, working, or completing assignments. The remaining 20% of your time should be used for renewal and relaxation, such as cooking your favorite comfort food, hanging out with friends, or simply taking a break and binge-watching your favorite TV show. Following this rule can help maintain a healthy work-life balance and avoid feeling overwhelmed or exhausted.

Furthermore, implementing the 80/20 rule can help balance a busy schedule, resulting in achieving more by doing less. Being aware of how we spend our time can transform our overall productivity. When I used to spend 100% of my day working, I would quickly become burnt out. However, after getting serious about this principle, I noticed a significant difference in how the input of 20% affected the output of 80%.

Adhering to the 80/20 rule can lead to more intentional and productive work. By taking well-deserved breaks, it’s possible to recharge your brain. If you use your phone constantly throughout the day, it will inevitably run out of battery. Taking a break from your busy day is like leaving your phone on the charger to recharge.

The 80/20 principle can be applied to different situations and aspects of an individual’s life such as personal goals, fitness, and relationships. The key takeaway is that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. However, it’s important to note that this rule may vary depending on the circumstances and time of year. The critical takeaway from the 80/20 rule is to be kind to yourself as we approach the semester’s thick by avoiding overwhelming thoughts and feelings.

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Kayla Masterman

App State '25

My name is Kayla Masterman, I am a junior studying Journalism with a minor in creative engagement and social change at Appalachian State University. When I'm not writing, I can be found enjoying the picturesque surrounding mountains!