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Monday, August 13, 2018

What I Do When I'm Completely Overwhelmed by My To-Do List.

Alternate title: What I've been doing every day lately because my to-do list is trying to straight up murder me. 

Anyone else have those days (Weeks? Months?) where you want to be productive, you have every intention of being a champion and blasting your way through your list and getting ish done...only to end the day frazzled and overwhelmed? And somehow, even though you worked your butt off the whole day, a good 80% off your list wasn't even touched? 

This has been me the last few weeks. I've been so motivated and so excited to take my days on...and then every night, I'm so confused at how I got so little done that day. So I started doing this one little thing that has been a tremendous help. What is it? 

Simple: I write down every. single. thing. Everything on my list, everything I need to get done, everything I'm expecting myself to do that day. I mean everything. If I'm expecting myself to deep clean the kitchen, I don't just write down "clean kitchen." I write mop kitchen, clean kitchen baseboards, clean out the refrigerator. Every. Little. Thing. 

This is incredibly helpful for two reasons: First, it gets everything in the forefront of my mind and puts me in the headspace to get stuff done. But most importantly, it helps me be realistic. Looking at a page full of tasks and knowing how many hours I have to do them, logically I know they aren't all getting done. What may have seemed doable in my brain now is clearly impossible, because there are only 24 hours in a day. 

Having everything written down in front of me helps to quickly see and sort through what has to get done that day and what can wait until tomorrow, or the weekend. This may seem like a no-brainer, but before I wrote everything down, (you know, in the delusional times when I just knew I'd get it all done), I would just pick a random task to start with, spend two hours on it, only to realize it was the least of my priorities that day. Make sense? 

If you're like me and your to-do list seems to be drowning you every day, give this a try this week. Take a few minutes when you wake up, get a cup of coffee, and write it all down. Then be realistic and move the not-as-important-things to a different day. Set yourself up for success by starting with a list that is actually doable instead of a list that you would have to be able to freeze time to even have a chance at completing. But also, let me know if you figure out that whole freezing time thing. 

What are some things you do to deal with overwhelming to-do lists?
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