How to tackle to-do lists when you feel overwhelmed?

2 min readJul 7, 2022

For my brain to function and be able to attack my day’s work I’m always building to-do lists.

It’s my way of convincing myself I’m being productive.

Then I get stressed out when I can’t complete them or they seem out of order.

I’d do the easy ones first then get stuck in a rut when I’d have these mammoth tasks to complete later in the day.

I’m working out right now in my garden whilst the sun is setting

Couldn’t be more grateful.

Speaker blasting, with interludes of birds tweeting all around.

Halfway through my work out, I got thinking.

Why do I always order my workouts, hardest to do first and easiest to last?

Because I want the most strength I can muster up for the hardest exercise to get more reps and the most out of the exercise.

Then as the workout progresses I can evenly spread out my energy as I get weaker and the exercises get progressively easier.

Working out helps me relieve stress but this time it helped me realize my stress.

I was in this weird anxs because I’d had a slow morning and didn’t get the big tasks I wanted to be done earlier in the day.

This was all self-made stress but either way, I couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt I felt for not getting the work done.

Part way through my workout I realized Why

I wasn’t tackling the heavy-duty tasks earlier on in the day and organizing them in order.

In the same way, I get weaker through a workout.

I grow tired as the day goes on and my adenosine levels rise.

If I can build the habit and discipline of getting harder mental tasks done earlier in the day, preferably before midday, I can feel a massive sense of accomplishment and ease as I transitioned into the afternoon and evening.

I can appreciate the afternoons more and be doing things that I can wind down to, like reading or chilling with mates.

Instead of having that nagging voice in the back of your head, called guilt, because I haven’t got done what I wanted to do earlier on.

If I have built this into my physical workouts.

I can build this into my daily work and to-do lists too so I don’t cause myself unnecessary stress.

Yes, it’s easier said than done. There will be off days. I’m still learning to cut myself some slack. But the discipline and hard work I can put in now towards that will only make working easier as each day goes by.