Do you find yourself dreading your to-do list or constantly thinking about how much is on your plate? Follow these simple steps to reduce overwhelm, shift your habits, and get more done.
Start With a Thought Download
Get everything out of your brain and onto the page. Even if you just write down, “Oh my God, I have so much to do, what a mess, I feel like I am drowning…” it will feel like a relief to get it all out of your system. Take a few minutes to acknowledge your unproductive thoughts and then move into action.
If you find yourself thinking stressful thoughts such as, “I have so much to do” or “I don’t have enough time,” make sure to jot down just the facts. What exactly do you have to do? What is urgent and necessary? Once you have made a specific, actionable list, you may find it helpful to break your list into two categories: Things you need to complete right away, and things you’d love to do eventually. When you try out this simple exercise, you may realize that you actually only have a handful of things you need to complete right away and the rest can wait. This will feel like a huge relief and help reduce your anxiety immediately.
Now that you have a list of everything you want to accomplish, break each major item into micro tasks. For example, if your goal is to plan and buy food for the week, get specific about the concrete actions you need to take and how much time each action will require. You might write down:
1. Make a meal plan for each day of the week – one hour.
2. Check fridge and pantry and make a grocery list – 20 min.
3. Shop for groceries and order staples online – two hours.
4. Map out time to prep and cook – one hour per day.
Repeat this process for each item on your to-do list.
Schedule Your To-Do List
So, you’ve got all of your micro broken down , now you just need to schedule them! Simply take each item and put it directly into your weekly planner. The key is to get things out of your head and onto your calendar. Then all you’ll have to do is honor each item on your calendar and your goals are as good as done!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent hours dreading something, that in the end, only takes me thirty focused minutes to complete. My new mantra is “Less dreading, more doing!” Instead of spending our time and energy being overwhelmed, let’s commit to shifting to taking massive, focused action. Who’s with me?