How To Cope When Your To-Do List Is Too Long

I’m not going to sugar coat this, y’all: I’m plumb worn out. And I know I’m not the only one. Several bloganistas who I admire greatly have admitted recently to feeling stretched to the max. When there’s so much you want to get done — such as blogging, socializing with family and friends, spending quality time with your spouse — in addition to all you have to get done — our Monday-Friday jobs, paying bills, cleaning the house, running errands, cooking meals — it’s a wonder we have any time to relax at all. And I can’t even imagine doing all of that AND being responsible for a child or a pet!

Lately I have been super-busy at work — something I relish because I love my job. But then at home there’s been side projects, home projects, blog projects — my to-do list seems never-ending!

photo: john.schultz

photo: john.schultz

Last week I decided to give myself a bit of a break, which is why I didn’t post here last Friday or Monday as I usually do. Blogging consistently on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays is always my goal — I’d like y’all to be able to depend on my posts if you like reading them — and I’m so thankful that you do read them! So it’s my committment to you to post regularly. Sometimes, though, a rest is needed. I know you all feel me!

Here are some ideas that I am going to try to use to find some “me time” more often, even if it’s just 15 minutes that I carve out here and there. I hope you’ll find these ideas helpful, too!

How To Cope When Your To-Do List Is Too Long

  1. Early a.m. My blogging guru Javacia is a pro at this — she gets up so early! I have a hard time getting up early, but when I do, I feel accomplished throughout the day. Last week, I got up at 5:40 a.m. twice and went for a walk/run as the sun was coming up. It was so quiet and peaceful. I may have been yawning when 5:40 p.m. came around, but it was worth it.
  2. Before work. Do something for yourself before you leave the house each morning. Read a book or catch up on “Scandal” while you eat your Cheerios. Text with a good friend to wish her a happy day. Read a devotional book or spend time meditating to center yourself. Just breathe.
  3. Lunchtime. Sometimes I try to squeeze in errands over my lunch hour. Or I do side projects or write blog posts. But give yourself a few minutes to relax, too. Read a book you enjoy — outside if you can, to soak up some vitamin D! Schedule a lunch with a friend to give your day some laughter. Even if you have to use that time to run around and get things done, listen to your favorite songs and sing your heart out. Find some joy in the middle of the day!
  4. Early evening. Use this time to reconnect with your loved ones. Talk about your day with your spouse — and really listen! Put the phone/iPad/remote down and tune into him/her. Call your parents and check in. Ask your bestie how her weekend went. Before you get into cooking dinner or doing the laundry, reach out to someone and get a dose of friendship and love from them.
  5. Before bed. I have a tendency to watch TV until I turn out the light. Or I work in front of my computer until my eyes are tired. Study after study has shown this to be a bad way to relax before going to sleep. So listen to the experts! My two go-tos: meditating and reading. Download a short meditation app — some are only 5 minutes! Or create a Goodreads account and find books to add to your “to-read” list. This is the time to wind down, quiet your mind and prepare for sleep.
  6. Middle of the night. If you wake up with your to-do list running through your head, you know what to do: Write it down! Again, studies show that if you write down your to-do list before catching some Zs, or if you wake up and need to find a way back to sleep, simply writing down everything you need to do will help you feel organized, calm the panic and let you tackle it all tomorrow — when you’re awake!

Do you have any tips for dealing with stress? How do you balance all the areas of your life?

8 Comments on How To Cope When Your To-Do List Is Too Long

  1. La Costa Gaston
    October 14, 2015 at 8:25 am (1 year ago)

    This is great Jen!!! Thank you for these tips. Lately, I too have been overwhelmed and just feel as there are not enough hours in the day to complete my list. I’m going to try these tips and let you know how they were benefitting in about 30 days or so.

    Reply
    • stellarfashionandfitness
      October 14, 2015 at 8:24 pm (1 year ago)

      That would be wonderful! Best of luck, and I will check in with you!

      Reply
  2. Javacia
    October 14, 2015 at 9:26 am (1 year ago)

    These tips are fantastic! I do some of them already, but starting today I’m going to incorporate them all so my days won’t feel so stressful. Thank you!

    Reply
    • stellarfashionandfitness
      October 18, 2015 at 12:39 pm (1 year ago)

      Yay! I’m so glad you found this helpful! I’m working on incorporating them into my day as well.

      Reply
  3. Artney
    October 14, 2015 at 1:01 pm (1 year ago)

    I’m so glad you shared this! I literally had a meltdown Sunday night. I appreciate all of these tips. Now I need to pin this to my refrigerator!

    Reply
    • stellarfashionandfitness
      October 14, 2015 at 8:24 pm (1 year ago)

      Yes ma’am! I believe we can do all we want/need to do, but we MUST give ourselves rest at times, too!

      Reply
  4. Karri
    October 14, 2015 at 2:18 pm (1 year ago)

    This was such a timely post. When you said that others around you are feeling this as well it made me feel a little better that I’m not in this alone. This September and October has become some of the busiest times of my life.

    Waking up early has been difficult for me in the past, but I find if I work out in the morning I feel more accomplished the rest of the day and less stressed about squeezing it in after work.

    Reply
    • stellarfashionandfitness
      October 14, 2015 at 8:23 pm (1 year ago)

      Same here, Karri! And some days I may only do 15 min. or so, but it’s something & does wonders for stress! I hope things calm down for you!

      Reply

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