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Beat that stressful to do list!


Sometimes there is just so much to do that you feel as though it would be better you gave it your attention later, when you have more time to devote. The irony of course is that while you are leaving those tasks to do later, the list just grows, becoming longer and longer with more to do and of course all that does is leave you feeling more stressed and anxious about getting on with it! It’s like a horrible negative cycle of un-productivity, the more and more you put off doing, the less you want to do it. This is a problem unfortunately I can relate to all too well myself and observe in a number of people I help in my hypnotherapy practice. The million dollar question of course, what can I do about it?

Break down the tasks

It sounds like such a simple idea but trust me this is incredibly effective when you’re suffering from this horrible “I’ve got too many things to do” overwhelm. Ask yourself what can I reasonably expect to get done today, and don’t forget to factor in some “me time” for the day! Of course how many things you expect to do in a day depends on how big the tasks are but always remember to be realistic. If knowing which tasks you should choose on your broken down list sounds an overwhelming task in itself then don’t worry, I have a great method for dealing with that too!


This technique works because it completely removes that horrible overwhelming feeling that’s been holding you back in the first place because you finally have a reasonable and achievable to do list. Unfortunately all the other tasks haven’t magically disappeared, but the magic is that because some of those tasks have been completed your overall to do list itself is now smaller and more manageable.


If knowing which tasks you should choose on your broken down list sounds an overwhelming task in itself then keep on reading because this next bit is entirely for you!


Make it physical

You absolutely 100% have to make sure this to do list of yours is physical, it can’t be stored mentally up in that magical brain of yours because if you do that then you risk having your do list constantly interfered with new ideas and reasons not to get on with it and that’s definitely something we don’t want.


Perhaps even more crucially ask yourself, why am I doing this, what will I achieve by doing it? It’s all well and good knowing you have to do something but as humans we constantly source information and justification for what we’re doing, therefore a fully justified to do list is far more appealing to get on with and will give the motivation you need to achieve something great today!


Additionally to this you might also find it useful to remind yourself what the consequences are of not getting on with a particular task because despite something being on your new revised to do list, you still have a choice whether to do it or not. If you cover both sides of the coin then I’m certain that narrowing down your to do list will be a much easier task and getting on with it just may even have an air of satisfaction to it.

If this all makes sense so far but you still feel unsure about exactly what I mean then fear not, here is an example of a fairly straightforward task most of us do every day (at least… I hope you do).


Task: Take a Shower

Why should I do it?: Because I enjoy feeling refreshed and clean.

What will I achieve by doing it?: I will feel energised and ready to start the day, this feeling of being refreshed will allow me to be more productive

What will happen if I don’t do this?: I will smell, maybe even quite badly, that is not something I want other people to think of me.


If you find it difficult to think of reasons you should do something, if you find it difficult to see what you’ll achieve by doing it and don’t know anything bad that will happen by not doing it then is it really something for your to do list? Would there be more benefit in someone else doing it instead or does it really need to be done as much as those other things.

Fortunately for you lovely reader, to say thank you for reading this article and listening to my wisdom I have compiled a to do list table you can download below which will help you create that new and awesome revised to do list.


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