How to Pare Down Your To-Do List and Relieve Unnecessary Stress

pare down your to-do list
Pare down your to-do list.

When you pare down your to-do list, you let yourself see the forest rather than getting lost and overwhelmed amongst the trees.

Just stop and think about it. How many tasks are you juggling on most days? And how many of them do you actually get done?

Indeed, when it comes to stress reduction, decluttering your list gives you much-needed breathing space. And you don’t have to lose track of things when you pare down your list.

Read on for some practical tips about this important and rewarding step in your planning process.

Setting priorities helps, but…

Prioritizing items on your to-do list will help you recognize and highlight what’s most important at any given time.  But even a prioritized list can be overwhelming.

How many of you have lists that go on for pages? 

It can be daunting and discouraging to contemplate those seemingly endless tasks.

Pare down your list — 5 Tips

So I encourage you to maintain several lists of tasks, including one “Daily List.” This is the list that you pare down as part of your time management process.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind, as you manage your to-do lists:

  • Maintain a comprehensive list of “Things to Do” that includes items that aren’t urgent but that you don’t want to forget. This relieves you of holding the details in your head.
  • Categorize and prioritize items, and move them to your “Category Lists.”  One of your lists might focus on recurring tasks or seasonal chores.  Home, work, and self-care are also good categories to consider.
  • Once an item has been moved to a category list, remove it from your comprehensive list.
  • Include space for notes with your lists.  For example, if you have a template for a seasonal chore, indicate where to find that template, next to the task.
  • Each day, create your to-do list for that particular day.  I advise doing this the night before.  Choose items from your categorized/prioritized lists.  When you move an item to your daily list, if it’s a one-time task, remove it from your category list.

Keep your daily list manageable.

A key part of managing your to-do list AND your energy is to be sure that what you include on your daily list can be accomplished in a day. If it can’t, that task is one you’ll need to break up into smaller steps.

Remember, when you put more on your plate than is doable, you are setting yourself up to feel discouraged.

On the other hand, when you pare down your daily tasks and give yourself a doable to-do list, you will have a sense of accomplishment each night. And that will energize your planning for the coming day. 

This is something that you have choices about. So, how will you pare down your daily to-do list, starting today? 

Here’s some practical help…

Overwhelmed? Discouraged? Stuck? Well, here’s something that will help you loosen those logjams and start moving again. “Why Can’t I Ever Get Anything Done?” How to Transform Your Life Using These 101 Time Tips is a compilation of 101 of my most popular time tips in expanded form, offering practical, heart-based wisdom in right-sized bites for easy digestion.

It includes time-tested tips and action steps separated into 11 common categories to help you find just what you need in the moment you need it. You know, transforming your life is all about transforming your time.  It’s within your reach, and these 101 Time Tips give you 101 stepping stones to your time success. 

And I’ve got a very special bonus for you, too. Why Can’t I Find My Direction?” 17 Journaling Prompts to Create Your Ideal Life is a workbook designed to support you in making the changes you most desire.

There’s so much for you here, and you can learn about it by clicking the link below:

Let’s explore time together …

Speak Your Mind