Most people fall into 1 of 2 categories when it comes to making a To-Do List…
Which category do you fall into?
1. You make it to-do list… Buuut you write umpteen million things on it. Then, you don’t get everything done and you feel like you suck. 🙁
2. You avoid that stress altogether by not making a to-do list… Buuut you waste a ton of mental energy trying to remember everything because it’s not written down. 🙁
Can you relate?! I know I can! So… Let’s bridge that gap! I’m going to give you 4 tips to take your to-do list and make it a DONE LIST!
Before we get started, I would love to know… Which category do you fall into?
Type #1 in the comments if you make it to-do list but it’s a mile long.
Type #2 in the comments if you have a banned the whole to-do list idea altogether but then you’ve got everything flying around in your head.
I’m so curious to know who falls into what category out of my whole audience!
As for me? I’ve actually been in both categories throughout the years…
#1 – I’ve made to-do lists and realize that they’re creating more stress than if I didn’t even have a list.
#2 – I tried to not have a to-do list, but that didn’t work well for me either.
If I would’ve had these 4 To-Do List Steps ahead of time, I would have saved sooo much stress!
IF YOU’RE ON THE RUN, LISTEN TO THE VIDEO!
How will these To-Do List Steps help you alleviate stress?
Well, let’s start with what CAUSES you stress first: You feel like your brain is on this hamster wheel of to-do list tasks.
- You’re constantly trying to be productive
- You’ve got to do this and you’ve got to do that and you can’t forget to do that before you go to bed
- You’re trying to keep everything organized, but…
Your brain just keeps on spinning and you’re getting nowhere. Just like a hamster wheel!
These 4 steps are going to provide you so much clarity and instant stress relief.
How To: Turn Your To-Do List into a DONE List!
To-Do List Step #1:
Do A Brain Dump!
Does that sound familiar? It’s like deja vu from last week’s post where I talked about doing a brain dump, right?! 😉
If you missed last week’s blog post, doing a brain dump means grabbing a sheet of paper and a pen and just writing down everything that’s in your brain. Dumping it all out on the sheet of paper.
For this brain dump, I really want you to focus on what you would like to get done this week.
- What do you need to do for work?
- Are there extracurricular activities that you need to take your daughter to?
- Any weekly assignments that your son has for math?
Whatever it might be that you can think of, just write it all down. I usually don’t want you to focus on anything when you do a brain dump because it’s so helpful to just get everything out of your mind.
But for this one in particular, I’d like you to focus it just a little bit and think about all of your to-do list stuff.
Don’t worry about organizing it right away but focus it more on your to-do list of tasks than anything else.
Related Post: Brain Dump to Beat Overwhelm
To-Do List Step #2:
Assign a Realistic Amount of Time to Each Task
Now, you can take that list of what you would like to do get done, and write down next to each one of those tasks how long it would realistically take you to complete that task.
Why? I put this step in here from personal experience…
I’ve learned that when I make a to-do list, I write down a LOT of things. Every time I make a to-do list, this is the dialog that goes through my mind:
If I really crank it all out and I really get energetic and I go as fast as I can… I can get that task done in like 15 minutes!
Is it realistic that I can uphold that much energy and enthusiasm and go nuts-ness for the entire day? Heck. No.
I shouldn’t expect that much of myself and I don’t want you to expect that of yourself either!
Why is this step so crucial?
Well, by the end of this step, you’ll have:
- Your list of things that you would like to get done.
- How long it will realistically take you to get that task done.
This will help you shed some light on how much you are actually putting on yourself.
Are you trying to get 36 hours of work done in 24 hour day? Most likely you probably are.
Because you’re a go-getter. You’re an achiever. You’re a mom… We’re busy, right?!
We want to get as much done as we possibly can but we have to be realistic with ourselves.
To-Do List Step #3:
Pick Only 3 Tasks
This step might be quite a challenge for you. I know it was (and still IS) pretty challenging for me.
Limiting your to-do list to only 3 things can be reeeally hard!
Every time I try to limit my to-do list, this is what goes through my head…
“Ok, well, I could do 3 things but then I could add X, Y & Z and then do the wash and then do the dishes after I get those 3 things done.“
Ugh! That’s not the point of this exercise! 😉
So… Try your best to limit your to-do list to only 3 tasks. How do you pick which 3 to keep on your list?
Prioritize. Really think about what your life priorities are and choose your 3 tasks based upon those priorities.
Example: You see on your list, “I have to do this for the PTO and this for church and this for Boy Scouts” but yet you already don’t have as much time or energy for your family as you would like. It’s really hard, but you need to say no to volunteering for this moment in time.
I am all about volunteering. I think it’s amazing, and I think it really has its place.
But you’re already sooo stretched thin, feeling overwhelmed and feeling like you don’t have enough time for your family the way it is.
Sometimes, you have to say no to what doesn’t align with your priorities.
If you struggle with saying no, my free mini-workshop that I created all about priorities is going to be really helpful for you in this area. That was actually last week’s freebie, but it’s open whenever you are ready to start it!
It will give you so much clarity and help you to identify what 3 tasks should be on your list. You can find it by clicking here!
To-Do List Step #4:
Create Your DONE List!
This last step is where the magic happens!
At the end of the day, what I want you to do is write down a “DONE List” – a list of everything that you did that day.
Here’s the beauty of a DONE List: When you write down every single thing that you did that day, it’s almost guaranteed that you will feel productive, content and satisfied with what you did that day.
I even want you to write down, “I relaxed with my kids” or “I took a bubble bath”.
That kind of stuff doesn’t feel productive and it might not feel like it has a place on your to-do list, but it most definitely does. That priorities mini workshop is going to help you realize that also.
I recommend doing this every single day, but especially when you’re feeling like you:
- Didn’t get enough done
- Were lazy that day
- Were worthless
- Are unproductive
Whatever those negative thoughts are that are creeping into your head, write down your DONE List and you are going to feel amazing about yourself just looking at the sheer quantity of things that you accomplished that day!
It’s Time to Turn YOUR To-Do List into a DONE List!
You ladies know that I love to help you implement the tips that I teach you. It’s one thing to just hear them but taking action on them is what’s going to actually alleviate your stress.
So what I’ve done is created an awesome FREEBIE for this post that walks you through every one of the steps that I outlined!
It will take you from To-Do List to that magical, amazing DONE List!
Make sure you grab it today so that when you’re ready to do this, you have it right at your fingertips in your inbox.
Just click this image to grab it!
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We all need somebody to just reach out their hand to us and say, “Ya know, I found this really helpful in my life. I think it might be helpful for you too!”
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Let’s kick our overwhelm, stress & low-energy to the curb!
~ Lacey ~
Hey Ladies! I’m Lacey Busse – a busy, working mom. I’ve got two kids and I created Working Moms Reduce Stress because I love teaching other moms how to alleviate stress. I want to teach you how to slow down, be able to enjoy your time with your family AND carve out time for yourself.
So… If you want to feel less stressed, have more mental energy and just feel that fog be lifted from your brain, make sure you drop your name & email by clicking below. I have so many tips and tricks that you were not going to want to miss. 🙂 I’ll send you a quick little email with the latest stress relief tips!