How to Get Control of Your Uncontrollable To Do List

March 29, 2011 By: Janna Chin Category: Mind Body Spirit

When most people think of the “To Do List” they think, “Ugh” and then sigh. For most people, the “To Do List” is like a heavy weight on their shoulders that they can’t seem to get rid of… a never ending load that continues to get bigger and bigger as the day progresses. There always seems to be more and more to do!

Every time you think of something, you write it down and by the end of the day… the list has grown out of control! There’s even more you need to do now than when you started.

In order to get control of your out of control “To Do List,” it’s important to get the list down to a manageable and realistic number per day so you can actually get things done in a productive manner. This will help with reducing anxiety and overwhelm.

The following are Steps to Help You Get Control of Your Out of Control To Do List


1. Sort out your existing “To Do List” by prioritizing the most important tasks that must be done by you for the day. If you’re a business owner, focus on the tasks that will get you towards making more money.

2. Make a separate list for:

tasks that need to be completed during the week

•tasks that need to be completed next week

•tasks that need to be completed during the month

As you go throughout the day and things “pop up” that need to get done, you can prioritize the task on the appropriate “To Do List.” This way, you energetically let go of tasks that don’t need to be attended to right away and can deal with it later, which will free up your energy to focus on the tasks that must be done today and can only be completed by you.

3. Keep the “To Do List” for the day simple and short. It’s recommended to concentrate on four to seven tasks a day so that you can focus 100% of your energy on each task at hand and do your best work. By keeping your list short, you can avoid the pile up of the never-ending, out of control “To Do List.” This will also make your tasks for each day much more manageable and a lot less stressful.

4. Set a reasonable time limit for each task and stick to it. Buy an egg timer or something that will work to keep you on track. Set the timer for the allotted time for each task and when it rings, move onto the next task. This will help keep you to be as efficient and productive as possible. By setting time limits for each task, you will be on track to getting everything done that needs to get done for the day.

5. Mark off your tasks as you complete them with a highlighter so you can see all the completed tasks for the day. Using a highlighter to highlight your completed tasks has the psychological affect of highlighting your “successes” for the day so you can feel good about your productivity for the day.

6. At the end of the day, create a new list for the next day so that you can start the next day prepared for what’s ahead. When tomorrow comes, you will have a fresh “To Do List,” with no “piled up” tasks to complete because everything was already taken care of the day before.

As you think of new tasks that pop up throughout the day, you can place them on the appropriate “To Do List”, let go of the stress energetically and go about your day focused only on the most important matters at hand… doing your best, most productive work without the burden of the “Out of Control To Do List” on your shoulders. You will feel a sense of achievement at the end of every day knowing that you put your best foot forward in every task you completed.

Janna Chin, M.A. is a Holistic Coach, ready to take you to the next level. Fill Your Cup Up, Inc.

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