Do you have an unhealthy obsession with crossing things off of your to-do list? Do you feel overwhelmed by all of the things you need and want to do each day to the point that sometimes you feel frozen and end up doing nothing? What if you could ditch the to-do list altogether and actually get more done in less time?
If that sounds like crazy talk, I get it, because I, too, was once a To-Do List Queen. In fact, I prided myself on being busy doing all the things. It made me feel accomplished and like I’d “earned” it when I got great results. However, as the years passed this mentality of overworking and over stressing myself stopped working for me.
I found that instead of feeling accomplished and good about myself, I felt overwhelmed and like I couldn’t keep up. My to-do list became a constant nagging signpost screaming, “you are not enough!”
Maybe you can relate?
I wish I could tell you that I let go of the to-do list of my own accord, but I didn’t. Instead, my mental and physical health had to deteriorate to the point that I could barely leave my bed from all of the stress before I was willing to change things.
It wasn’t an easy shift, but it finally hit me that being busy could no longer be a badge of honor for me. I had to find other ways to feel worthy, deserving, and enough. At the same time, I still needed to get shit done!
I was determined to figure out how I could be productive without sacrificing my health or my sanity.
Now I know it’s totally possible to ditch your to-do list and get more done, not less. Here are some things I’ve learned so far on my quest to reducing overwhelm and still making headway on my big dreams.
Related post: How to Be Productive When You Really Don’t Feel Like It
How to get more done in less time (without overwhelm) + FREE goal setting printable
1. Stop attaching your worthiness to what you can do or help others do.
Do you only feel deserving of good things when you’ve worked really hard to “earn” them? Here’s the truth: You are worthy even if you lay in bed all day, doing nothing. Now, no one really wants to spend all their time laying in bed, but that’s not the point here. The point is that what you do has no impact on your worthiness. What you do is simply how you choose to express yourself in the world. Doesn’t that take some of the pressure off?
You don’t have to do anything to prove yourself.
A lot of people worry that they will become lazy if they stop feeling the need to prove their worthiness. However, it’s quite the opposite. Once you realize that you’re enough as you are, you’re free to do what totally lights you up simply because you want to! Your motivation comes from a place of self-love rather than self-loathing.
Have you ever heard the saying, “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar?” It’s the same thing with your productivity. Love yourself, and you’ll get a lot more done than when you’re putting yourself down for how much you haven’t done.
2. Ditch the to-do list and set 3 intentions a day.
Rather than making a long ass (likely never-ending) to-do list of everything you want to get done in the foreseeable future, I suggest instead setting 3 intentions for the day. An intention has a different energy for me than a to-do list item. Here’s why: When you are intentional, you are purposeful. You have an end-goal and an end-feeling in mind. You are putting yourself in the driver’s seat of your own life rather than letting the to-do list steer you around. You get to decide what is most important and what you have the time and the energy for in that day.
What I’ve discovered about this practice of setting daily intentions is that I actually get more done than ever before. I multi-task and stress less, meaning I’m more focused on what I’m doing. Therefore, it takes me less time! Even if you feel you have more than 3 things you need to get done each day, I encourage you to try out this method. I often do more than these three things, but the difference is I can end the day feeling fulfilled and happy knowing I did what I set out to do. Everything else I get done is an added bonus!
3. Create a daily mindset practice.
Setting intentions is just one part of my daily mindset practice. Most days (not every day because I’m certainly not a perfect human), I start my day with writing down my gratitudes, my big why, my top 3 goals for the month, my daily intentions, and my self-care activities. This takes only about 10 minutes of my time, but it makes a world of difference in how I feel and how much I get done in a day.
Simply put: When you feel good, you feel more motivated, and you get a lot more done!
Free Printable: Goal Setting Workbook
4. Celebrate your wins (big and small) at the end of each day.
Who says you have to wait until you get to the end of a project or a goal to celebrate? I believe you always have something to celebrate, even if it feels small in comparison to where you wanna be eventually. When you take the time to acknowledge yourself daily, you train your mind to feel good about getting shit done.
Instead of feeling like a failure because you didn’t get to that elusive “there” yet, you end your day feeling like a badass! This only increases your motivation! By celebrating every day, you create a domino effect of more stuff getting done, leading to you having even more things to celebrate, and of course getting closer than ever to your big dreams becoming a reality.
To wrap it all up…
As you can see, you really can break up with your to-do list and get more done! It takes a bit of a mindset shift and a willingness to try new things, but your sanity, health, and happiness are worth it!
I’d love to know: Which of these tips do you look forward to applying to your own life?