Stop Being A Slave To Your To Do List

Always running around like a mad woman, trying to squeeze it all in? Frustrated that you never get everything done?

Focusing only on your to-do list is stressful and crazy-making. Even if you do manage to achieve everything on your list, you may never actually accomplish anything meaningful.

We get so caught up in getting things done, we lose the plot on how we want to feel.

So how can you evolve from a Human Doing into a Human Being?

Here’s a strategy I use when I start slipping into auto-pilot.

1. How do I want to feel?

Rather than focusing on the 101 things you want to do, begin with how you want to feel.

Write down how you want to feel.

I want to feel organised, focused, productive.

I want to feel like a good (enough) mother, wife, friend, daughter.

I want to feel connected to who I’m with.

I want to feel healthy, fit, energetic.

I want to feel positive, generous, caring, calm, compassionate, creative.

I want to feel happy!

Once you’re clear on how you want to feel, move on to step two.

2. Focus

You need to cut out the crap and find focus.

Use your Life Wheel Tool to get a bird’s eye view of your eight life areas. Look at each area and decide which ones need your focus right now.

Want to feel organised and top of your meal planning, shopping and cooking? (Productivity)
Finally get fit? (Health)
Become more patient and calm? (Personal Growth)
Get more cooperation from your kids? (Family)
Master your spending? (Money)
Inject more fun into your life? (Fun)
Feel connected to your man? (Love)
Dream of setting up your own business, but don’t know where to start? (Work)

Which of these do you want to create more time for? Choose up to three life areas that are calling you (or screaming at you!) Less is more if you want results. One step at a time.

Ask yourself what you want and why you want it? Until you know why you want something, you won’t know how to go about it. It’s the why that drives you to take action. It’s what motivates and gets you excited. And when obstacles get in your way the why is the fuel to push you through.

3. Start each day fresh, with a clear intention.

Use a Design My Day action sheet before you dive into your day. Take a few quick minutes to organise your biggest priorities and plan how to prepare for a successful day ahead.  When you turn this into a consistent habit, you’ll be amazed at how much easier life flows. I’ve included two boxes for you to write what you’re feeling grateful for and how you want to feel.

If your To Do List is out of control and you’re tired of writing lists on Post-It Notes, backs of envelopes – or keeping stuff in your head (!), check out my Master Your To Do List Workshop. I’ve got a system that’s turned a lot of mothers lives around in one hour and I’d love to show you how too. 


In the comments below, write a few words describing how you want to feel. Which life area needs your focus right now?

photo credit: thisisbossi via photopin cc

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  1. Suzi on October 1, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Just what I needed to read today! Sometimes I get so crazy that I can’t even figure out WHAT to put on the to-do list. If I start with how I want to feel it all gets a little clearer.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on October 1, 2013 at 5:33 PM

      Glad to hear this helps to get you off the starting blocks Suzi. Every since I started focusing on how I want to FEEL instead of just what I need to do, my days go a lot smoother.

      If you haven’t read Design Your Day, it’s a great second step. It has a printable Action Sheet with a space to write how you want to feel each day. 🙂 Here’s the link:

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