Don’t Stress Over Your To-Do List

Breathe slowly. Calm down and relax. No one’s going to hurt you. I know you feel a bit stressed out, but not to worry. Here are some pointers:

Write it down.

I would advise investing in a PDA phone, pocket planner, or a bulletin board at home. Write down the due date for each task for the whole week. Don’t look at it from a monthly or yearly view point, it will only stress you even more. Take it one step at a time. Write down what must be done, and the time frame in which you will be working on them. This will give you a bird’s eye view of the week, and will allow you to position yourself to work on stuff when you have gaps in your schedule. Not only that, you really don’t want to forget!

Write down MORE!

Although this may sound contradictory, this method allows you to feel a sense of completion. For example, let’s say that I have to do an oil change on my sister’s car, practice a sophisticated piano piece by Bach, and cook dinner. If these things were a bit difficult for you, do something that will allow you to feel like you are almost done with your obligations. Write down the simple stuff. If I had three major things to do, I’d double or triple the things on my list for the day. This would include picking up my sister from volleyball practice, walking the dog, depositing checks at the bank, checking e-mail, feeding the fish, clipping toenails, calling the doctor to set up an appoinment, eating, and so on. Even though they may not count toward what I really need to do immediately, the motion of crossing it off your list feels so good. You have finished something, and it’s time to advance and move forward.

Alarm your mind.

Are you forgetful? There’s always that ONE thing we forgot to do. This is where creativity kicks in. You can do anything you want in order to remember every single duty of yours. Here are some examples. If you have 5 things, remember that number and don’t forget it. You can also make acronyms. When others ask you what your plans are, say that you have to WIN. WIN could be Water the lawn, Ice down your sore back, and Negotiate a better price with the real estate agent. Maybe Walk the iguana, Improve on your reading skills, and Name your baby that will be due in the next two weeks. Also, simply set up an alarm on your phone or computer. For an alarm on your computer, go to and download digital Post-It notes so that you can get see a big yellow Post-It with all your To-Do’s on your desktop.

Take these steps to get those tasks out of your way. The feeling of accomplishing a goal feels so good once it is done. Remember this saying next time you feel overwhelmed: How do you eat an Elephant? One bite at a time.

Explore posts in the same categories: Business Success, Self-Improvement Success

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