What to do about a To-Do List


  A constant disturbance in everyone’s life is being overwhelmed. This engulfing feeling of being on the brink of losing control, leads to extra stress in our busy lives. Everyone deals with the multitude of responsibilities in their lives differently. Personally, I tend to make To-Do lists.  The two ways to get through this string of tasks on my To Do lists is to either attack every individual item head on, spending plenty of time on every project, or procrastinate and let my responsibilities build until I am hit with a wave of stress.  Often, this stress accumulates over a period and then surfaces all at once, possibly causing a break down. Which can then usher into a period of self-punishment, where you beat yourself up for not taking advantage of time before and racing to beat the clock. This self-disappointment also usually takes up more time, turning obligations and stress into a cyclical mess that will always end in a waste of time. The longer stress prohibits you from working, the more time you are taking away from crossing off items on a To Do list.

It's time that we stop being so hard on ourselves for our failed expectations, or  not sticking to a personal schedule. Procrastination is a huge block in the road to completing tasks. For example, procrastination manifests physically while I’m at home in which I feel it necessary to clean the space around me before I can sit down to do my work. Maybe it is a lack of ability to focus on just one thing, such as picking up a few piles of clothes, and then finding myself organizing my entire closet 30 minutes later. I have found best trick for this is to complete assignments in a space that is dedicated to doing work. I prefer a space that isn’t my home because I can’t get distracted by cleaning or some other arbitrary task that gives me a false feeling of productivity.

There isn’t a simple answer to being overwhelmed, as these tasks most likely won’t go away, and the time in a day will not increase. There are endless ways to deal with this stress. Here are some ideas to try next time you feel like you are drowning under stress:

  • Breathe: Sit down. Close your eyes. And focus on your breath. If meditation isn’t your thing, just take a few deep breaths and prepare for the next task you are going to accomplish.  
  • Work Out: Stretch, move around, run, go lift some weights, go to a cycling class. Pushing yourself physically will take your mind off of your responsibilities for a little while physically manifesting all the greatness you are capable of.
  • Do something that brings you pure happiness: Sing a song, go for a walk, watch your favorite tv show.


It’s important to take some time for yourself because the world is so busy, and we are constantly trying to keep up with it. The sooner you accept that you as an individual cannot keep up with every aspect of the world, you will realize that the world will keep up with you. Also, don’t stress about your laundry and that old pile of clothes to donate. It might be clutter, but it’s not going to stop your entire life if it stays in your room another week, until you have a day off work!