To do lists can be extremely helpful for keeping track of everything you have to do in a day. But they can also become super overwhelming pretty quickly. I love a good list to remember all the little things throughout the day. However, these lists can end up being longer than expected which leads to procrastination.
Even as an enneagram 3 (the achiever), I end up pushing things on my to do lists off for longer than I’d like. I think we can all relate to this. We find ourselves mindlessly scrolling social media feeds or doing a load of laundry just to avoid the things we actually need to do. While I am guilty of procrastination too, I have found a few ways to manage the insane to do lists.
This post is all about how to manage your overwhelming to do lists to be more productive and less stressed.
I have come up with a few tips to help you manage your to do lists so that you will feel less stressed and ditch the overwhelm.
How To Manage Your To Do Lists
Writing out all the things you need to complete or remember on your to do lists will get it out of your head and onto paper. This will prevent your lists from taking up a bunch of mental space and keep you from forgetting anything.
My favorite thing to do to check things off my to do lists is to prioritize my tasks. Each day I choose 3 main goals for the day. These main goals can have multiple tasks under the umbrella of that goal. However, it keeps me from feeling overwhelmed by any additional tasks. If there are tasks on my to do lists that are not part of my daily goals, they can wait.
Break Up Big Tasks
Instead of listing huge tasks on your to do lists like “clean apartment” or “do homework” try breaking them into smaller tasks. Being able to check the smaller tasks off your to do list will help you feel more accomplished and motivated to continue. This will also help you stop procrastinating on tasks that feel way too big.
Change Your Mindset
Instead of thinking about everything you “have” to do in a day, consider thinking about everything you get to do. Every day is a gift and you don’t want to dread it by thinking about all the things you need to do in a day. This mindset will prevent you from enjoying life and will keep you overwhelmed. Consider all the things you get to do each day as a blessing!
It may be harder for you to get things done if you don’t have a deadline. Try setting due dates for yourself to guarantee you get things done in a timely manner. This might look like specific times or days. Choose a method that helps you feel the urgency of getting tasks off your to do lists.
Celebrate Your Wins
Sometimes we have so many tasks on our to do lists that checking something off feels so small it doesn’t matter. It is a great practice to celebrate your wins, no matter how small they are. Even if you only check 2 things off your list and have 13 things left, celebrate the fact that you completed the 2.
Have Different Lists
One of the biggest contributing factors to overwhelm is having to do lists that are too big and unmanageable. Instead, try having different lists. I like to have a “today” list where I only see the tasks for today. Then I have a master list that includes everything I think randomly throughout the day. When I plan out my 3 goals for the next day, I move tasks from the master list to my today list.
In my Own Your Time course, I teach about the importance of time blocking your days. One of the time blocks I use is my “essential” time block. This is a set time that I get everything on my to do lists completed. Since I know when I will be doing this, I can eliminate distractions by leaving my phone out of site and not making plans.
This post shared helpful tips to manage your to do lists so you aren’t overwhelmed.
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