How To Get Out From Under Your 'To Do' List

If you’re like most people in today’s frenzied society, you may often find yourself drowning in overwhelm at all the things you have to do, and all the things you want to do but never seem to have time for.

Believe me, I can relate.

I spent years juggling single motherhood, a corporate management career, and whatever social life I could maybe squeeze in.

I can’t say I managed all of this very well.

My health, relationships – and quite frankly, my self-esteem – were in the pits.

I had an endless list of unlived dreams and tasks yet to be accomplished, and it seemed to grow longer with each passing year.

It wasn’t that I didn’t try to fix the problem.

In fact, I tried just about every time management system I could find. I would write out list after list of priorities, values, and goals, and create detailed plans mapping out every moment of my life.

And then, I would do (or not do) everything exactly the same as before.

In fact, the time it took to maintain my time management systems ended up putting me even further behind.

Within only a few days, my well-laid plans would exhaust me – and worse, they would make me feel even more inadequate and “broken” than ever.

You see, at the time, I believed (like most people) that tackling overwhelm was an inside job. I thought I needed to dig deep within and figure out where my missing motivation had gone.

In short, I believed I had a “problem” that needed fixing.

As a society, we’re big on fixing problems. It’s what we like to do, and it can be helpful in many situations.

But in my search for an answer to my problem, I came across an astonishingly simple way of approaching my time and activities that literally transformed my life almost overnight.

Yes, there was work involved, but there were no problems to solve.

And suddenly, nothing I did seemed like “work” at all! I found myself doing more in less time than ever before, AND feeling great about my ability to handle my life with ease and grace.

I’d like to share this simple approach with you, and I’d like to begin by asking you a question:

What if the ONLY problem you have with time is that you believe there’s a problem at all?

What if, instead of thinking about, worrying about, and beating yourself up over not getting things done, you simply… got things done?

Ridiculous, right?

If you already feel like you don’t have enough time, then the idea of getting things done sounds impossible.

It’s a catch-22: you have no time, so things pile up. Then you have even less time, and the cycle perpetuates itself.

Well, here’s the thing. I’m willing to bet that if you set aside every worry, fear, anxiety, or shred of judgment or guilt over your “time-management” problem, you could become a model of productivity without stress or struggle.

Before you click away in disbelief at my simplistic solution, please hear me out.

I’m the reformed Poster Child for Procrastination!

Things like changing the oil in my car, returning defective items for refunds, paying bills on time, making minor repairs around the house, calling repairmen for larger repairs, and pretty much anything that wasn’t “fun” or absolutely essential for survival fell off my radar screen year after year.

I let some tasks go for so long that I caused myself severe mental, emotional, and financial hardship.

So if a simple “just do it” system could transform my life, I’m absolutely positive it will work for anyone.

That’s why, over the next three days, I’m going to share with you what I consider to be the three main components of the simple act of getting things done (don’t worry, all the components are simple, too).

Why not just give them to you now?


  1. You’re busy and I don’t want you to lose any of this valuable information in a novel-length post, and
  2. I want you to come back and visit me! :)

So stay tuned – tomorrow’s tip is called “Surrender To Reality”

(Heck yeah… I said surrender, baby!)

I’ll see ya then.

NEXT POST: Part 1 of 3: Surrender To Reality

Helen Hunter Mackenzie