3 Steps to Taking Control of Your ‘To Do’ List


I don’t know about you, but my “to do” list can’t fit on one piece of paper. It is suffocating some days, even just to look at it.

Having a family means an increased amount of “to do’s” and less time to do them. My usual approach is to jump in to my list and start life without thinking. Stopping to think feels like an unwelcome luxury that only slows me down.

Unfortunately, when we plunge into our “to do” list without taking time for thought or intention, we get buried, harried and carried away by the busyness of life.

I don’t want to go through life like this. Do you?

In *Essentialism, Greg McKeown reminds us that:


Over the past year and a half, I’ve accepted this truth and have cleared out some space in my week to think, to adapt and strategize the overwhelming demands of my mom life.

And guess what? It’s been EXTREMELY helpful.

Follow the steps below– if you want to rock your “to do” list!

3 Steps to Taking Control of Your ‘To Do’ List

Step 1: Reflect on Your Purpose Statement.

Before looking at your ‘to do’ list, clear your mind. Look back at your “purpose statement” to clarify your priorities. Is there anything on your list that doesn’t belong? What things matter most? (We will talk more about eliminating items in our next post).

Step 2: Set a Weekly Strategy Meeting With Yourself.

Consider setting aside about 10–15 minutes before beginning each week. (I do this Sunday afternoons). During this time, ask yourself:

What do I want to have accomplished by the end of the week?

Write these things down– and assign space in your week to do them. Even if it’s something like laundry, make an appointment with yourself to do it at a certain time. That way you are sure you have the time to get it done.

This practice has proved extremely fruitful for me and has helped me not to get stuck in the sea of tasks on my list.

Step 3: Prioritize Tomorrow.

Another practice I’ve adopted is the idea of making a “Top 3.”

One day in advance, look at your “to do” list in all its overwhelming glory.

Ask yourself: If I could only do 3 of these things tomorrow, which ones are most important and most in line with my purpose statement?

I do this almost daily and lay my “Top 3” on the kitchen counter a day in advance, so I have a clear sense of purpose when I wake the following day. It’s been amazing to see how it’s helped me keep focus and get the “right things” done– instead of floundering.

Do these things sound possible, mama? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

More to come on your “to do” lists, up next. 🙂

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