Tweak Your "To Do" List and Feel So. Much. Better.

I’m a big fan of making “To Do” lists, and have to make one every night before I go to bed so I can sleep better. But recently I’d been STRESSED and my go-to list wasn’t doing much to help.  I realized I was plowing through plenty of tasks each day, but still feeling this looming sense of anxiety.

Then I decided to try a new approach to the “To Do” list. I ended up making this:

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In case you can’t read my serial killer handwriting, it says “Shizz That Stresses Me Out.”

In a sense it’s a list of things I have to do. But it’s a little deeper than that. Instead of blindly whipping through tasks each day, this list forces me to really think about what’s on my mind. When I get right down to it and highlight my sources of stress, I can deal with them most effectively. Instead of just being a hamster on a wheel trying to get all my random tasks done, I know what isn’t making me feel good anymore and where I need to focus my attention more closely. It’s a “To Do” list, yes, but it’s also about self-analysis and reflection.

After I filled out this little list, I realized that the tasks I was most focused on doing weren’t necessarily the ones that were causing me the most stress. Once I identified what was really keeping me up at night, it made it easier to shift my “To Do” list priorities around to take care of those stress-inducing things first. It’s just a slight variation on the traditional “To Do” list, but it’s actually helped me manage my stress a lot more effectively. And feel less like a hamster on a wheel, which is always a good thing.

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