How to Avoid To Do List Overwhelm

One of the things I hear a lot of my friends saying is that its hard to keep track of all the to TO DO THINGS and that is something I’ve had a bit of success with so I thought I’d share.

My to do lists are long, seemingly never ending. Messy, never in the right order and the longer they get the less I want to look at them, especially if it goes over the page!

BUT, at the same time I want it all out of my head. It gets crowded in there and the Negativity Committee that has regular meetings in my head can get out of hand if I don’t write lists.

Now when it comes to lists and organising I’ve tried it all – planners, diaries, pretty note books, electronic thingys that bing – all sorts. The pretty planners and books were intimidating. Mine are never pretty enough. The bing-ing electronic things are so annoying I turned them all off, plus if its not on one page for me I can’t hold a picture in my head, so it wasn’t helping.

After all of that I was still saying ‘I got all these things I want to do’ and feeling overwhelmed.

With the help of a trained professional counsellor I worked out that looking at it all at once is just too much – for anyone. There is too much to do AND, more importantly, I can only do what I can with the time I’ve got, which means it has to count.

There were things I wanted my lists to do for me – one keep track of everything so I don’t forget and two tell me what needs doing RIGHT NOW, so I stay on top of things.

To do that I’ve broken my lists down – one for each of my spinning plates – my boys, home, me, work, business etc and EVERYTHING goes on there as it pops into my head. In no order.

Then as things get more urgent – and need doing in the next couple of days – or I want to do them soon, they go onto the RIGHT NOW list.

The RIGHT NOW list is the only one I look at every day and I keep it short, only two or three things that aren’t crossed off at a time.

It helps me prioritise, feel more in control and less overwhelmed. You can down load the Things I Want To Do Pages template for my to do list pages. I hope you find them useful 🙂

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