My Number One Trick to Try If You Can't Sleep

Sometimes when I’m checking out at the doctor’s office, the receptionist will look at me like I’m insane when I pull out my small, blue planner in order to write down the date of my next appointment. I realize that this behavior is very ’90s of me. Most people put their dates in their phone and call it a day. But I prefer to stay organized the old-fashioned way. A planner, a “to do” list, that type of thing.

One reason I do this is because I’m afraid of losing everything on my phone, and then wandering aimlessly through life until my doctors call and tell me I missed my appointment and am getting charged a $50 cancellation fee. But mostly, I just have an easier time committing something to memory when I’m physically writing it down and seeing it on paper in front of me. I don’t know why I’m this way. I can’t really explain it. The other to-do-list-nothingday I had to do a project for a client that involved planning an editorial calendar. I literally had to write all of the dates out on a calendar before transcribing them online. Was it a waste of time? Maybe. But it was the only way I could really visualize the project.

“To Do” lists have become another one of my most favorite things in life. Not only do they keep you organized, but I’ve also found that they’re a serious stress reliever. Lately my mind has been going a million miles a minute, and it seems like I’m always coming up with things that need to get done. From small tasks (like responding to a Facebook message) to a big one like finishing up an article with a deadline that’s coming up, I have tons of stuff to remember. When I keep it all floating in my brain, I literally can’t sleep at night. I lie awake just trying to process it all and make sure I’m not forgetting anything. “To Do” lists keep the pressure off. I know that I’ve written it down and will be able to get to it in the morning.

Sometimes, when I’m really stressed, I’ll make a super mega ultra “To Do” list. This will include anything, literally anything, that I’m thinking about or need to take care of. If it’s on my mind, it gets written down. The list can include “schedule an eyebrow wax” or “paint my toenails” or “pay rent” or “finish that huge project.” Anything mundane or massive gets included. It’s a way for me to clear my brain of any type of clutter, thus making sleep easier. When I know that I have literally NOTHING left to remember, it’s much easier to turn my mind off and drift off.

What strategies do you use for staying organized? Do you have any specific ways that you tackle stress? 

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