Task Decoupling

A simple and effective strategy to reduce anxiety and overwhelm.

Rose Ernst
The Startup
Published in
6 min readOct 2, 2019


Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels

“Instead of thinking we have too much to do, can we see the joy in each task? And see that a pile of tasks, then, is an abundance of joy and possibility?” — Leo Babauta

“Yeah, I’ll write that book this year.”

“It shouldn’t take me more than a few months to write that journal article and have it accepted.”

I’ve heard these phrases from clients and from myself. Clients truly believe it when they say it. Almost inevitably, overwhelm sets in, manifesting itself in avoidance, procrastination, and ‘‘workcrastination.’’

Reducing overwhelm on a specific project can be tackled with planning strategies that break down a fuzzy-yet-specific goal such as writing a book.

I want to discuss what happens when we have a plan with manageable, bite-sized tasks, but we still cannot move forward.