Stress and your To Do List


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Here’s a new item to put at the very top of your To Do List if it is the sort that most stressed-out people keep —

“1. SHORTEN THIS LIST!”

I remember about 15 years ago I bought a software program that allowed you to make detailed lists in an outline form so that you could have the items numbered I, II, III etc. but then under each item you could break it down into A,B,C and then 1, 2, 3 under each of those letters, and even further into a, b, c… getting very detailed. Wow, I loved this program and decided I would get supremely organized and make myself a complete “To Do List.”  Since it was computerized, you could easily add a new item anywhere on the list, and re-order all the items instantly, unlike with a handwritten list.

You might guess that I got carried away. Yes, indeed!  Since I gave myself the “command” to make it a “complete list” I included not only deskwork for my home-based business but also household chores, errands and so on. The list became quickly massive… and very depressing.

I was unwittingly setting myself up for a lot of stress and frustration because the printout of “my” list was many pages long and it felt overwhelming.

That’s why today I advise that you write down your list on a sticky note — put down the top 4-5 things you must get done “today” and keep it simple. This habit helps you to focus on what is most important in your life. Be sure to always include your top goal on that list or it will continue to be shoved to the back  burner and you’ll die without achieving your dreams. Even if you can only spare 1/2 hour for that Big Goal each day, by the end of the week that means you’ve spent 3-1/2 hours of concentrated time on what you desire the most for yourself.

your happiness guru,

Evelyn Brooks

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