How To Stop Being Overwhelmed By Your To Do List

***UPDATED: 20TH JUNE 2016 ***

How Successful Moms Accomplish Everything on Their To-Do List

You’re continuously juggling your blogging business with your home-life.

You’re up late into the night, trying to stay on top of all your blogging tasks.

You know you’ve 101 other things to do tomorrow. “Need to get the kids ready for the school run, complete a few house chores.  What are we having for dinner?”

Those to-do’s just keep adding up, as soon as you’ve cleared one, another magically appears on your list. So you decide to stay up, just that little bit longer?

I remember feeling the exact same way. I was so frustrated and tired, I’d so many ideas and big plans for my business. So many things I wanted to do, but I could never seem to get enough time.

Even when I did manage to get started, I’d be in the flow of things. Then boom..  My daughter would wake up from her nap, or I had some other commitments.

It’s not easy trying to build a successful business from home. Trying to balance your household chores, and your growing family. One of the main reasons you decided to stay at home.

It wasn’t until I was at the edge of completely throwing in that towel. I discovered an amazing, yet simple way to take the humble to-do list, and turn it into an unstoppable tool.

It helped me to get more done. I felt stress-free, happy, and was able to get my home and business tasks done without that feeling of guilt. That guilt us moms may feel, when we’re trying to spread ourselves around, but it’s not quite working.

To-do lists can be great, but they can also make you more stressed and they don’t account for how long a task my take. There is a way you can stop feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list. You can make your to-do list unstoppable right now, and all it takes is 2 Simple Steps!


To-Do List or Not To-Do List?

Having a to-do list can be an awesome stress buster, if you can master them! In the search to find that golden secret every mom craves to increase their productivity, I began reading book after book. I started with:

  • Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy – The principle of tackling your most challenging tasks first, and when you are at your most effective.
  • The One Thing by Gary Keller – Focusing your mind on ONE specific area at a time.
  • Mindset by Carol Dweck – How what you can achieve and how we react, is influenced by either our growth or fixed mindset.

All amazing must-reads if you’re looking to go into more depth into productivity. Of course reading and doing are two completely different things!  And as much as these books gave me fantastic insight into my own productivity, along with some juicy tips to set me out on the right foot, I was starting to get overwhelmed again with my to-do list.

I began to realize. If I wanted that “I’m on top of everything feeling”, scribbling the occasional to-do list just wasn’t cutting it. This is when I discovered how successful productive moms really got things done. Before tackling any tasks on their to-do list, they followed 2 simple steps. These 2 steps are the foundations to making your to-do list work around you and you’re family life.

How To Stop Becoming Overwhelmed by Your To Do List. Click To Tweet

2 Steps To An Unstoppable To-Do List

The 2 Steps to laying the foundations for an unstoppable to-do list. Work hand-in-hand with work at home moms who want to increase their productivity. Why? Because these steps take into account the dynamics of being a busy mom. And are going to straight away stop you feeling overwhelmed and stressed by your to do list.

These steps are going to turn your to-do list into what I like to call “SMART TO DO LISTS”. We’ve all made to do lists which we’ve at times not been able to complete, and what happens afterwards? You feel guilty and less motivated to even bother creating another to do list. Instead all our many tasks are left bubbling away in your minds. Leaving you feeling stressed and over-whelmed, this is where SMART TO DO LISTS come into play.




Stop Over-Committing Yourself

Successful moms don’t over commit themselves. They know straight away what they can do and don’t have time or energy for.

Knowing How, and When to Say No. Not just when people are asking you to do something, but also saying no to some of the tasks on your to do list. Learning when to say no will stop you over-committing yourself to way too much.

Remember the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland.

It is very easy to take MORE than nothing. The Mad Hatter

As eccentric as he may appear, he was spot on there. He knew one of the fundamental steps to being productive…

This is where the Mad Hatter actually got it right. He knew how easy it is to keep adding more and more tasks to your to do list. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be easy for you to actually complete them. The truth is, it’s a lot harder to do less on your list. Why? That feeling of guilt, you feel like you’re letting yourself or somebody else down if you do less or say no. If you get a chance to watch or read Alice in Wonderland again with your kids. It’s funny, but you may notice the Mad Hatter always manages to get his to-do’s done, and he’s the Mad Hatter!

The How Does She Do It All Mom?

It’s normal to have grand expectations of what we think we should be able to do. Have a clean spotless home, daily home cooked meals on the table, hair and nails always on point. Don’t forget effortlessly running your own business and the list goes on. Now I’ll put my hands up right now and tell you my truth. My life is no way like that and I’m okay with that. I’m okay with what I’ve put on my plate and what I can manage and so should you.

Having a SMART TO DO LIST comes from assessing what you can manage. If you’re a mum of two under 4’s you may be able to take on more than a mum of four under 4’s. Doing less doesn’t take away or devalue what you’re doing. Assessing your situation and seeing what you can manage. Is the first step to seeing what you should be saying no to. Whether it means – No not today but I can tackle this on the weekend or rescheduling an appointment.

It's Only By Saying No That You Can Concentrate On The Things That Are Really Important - Steve Jobs Click To Tweet

The Importance of Saying No

If you’re stressed and overwhelmed by the huge number of tasks on your to do list. Or you’re not managing your list, the truth is you’re more than likely doing way too much.

It’s actually really common to add more and more to your list. Trying to fit in as much as you possibly can in one day, but not so easy to actually get it done. If you’re completely exhausted. You’re never going have enough energy to do most of the tasks on your list. Slowly you’ll start to struggle to complete them 100% the way you would like. This can turn into a negative cycle. The more you don’t get things done, the more it stresses you out. You stop sleeping properly, and gradually may start to lose your motivation.

Doing too much may also cause you to miss out on better opportunities you may encounter along the way. If your schedule is too jam packed with things to do. You’re not allowing yourself the breathing space for something else.


When To Cut Down Your To-Do List

It’s normal to feel a bit awkward about saying no. Especially when it’s to a close friend or family member. You don’t want to disappoint them or feel guilty for letting them or yourself down. There’s nothing wrong with saying no. The truth is, saying no is so important to your success in getting more done.

Over-filling your plate doesn’t allow room for dessert and we all love a good dessert, right! Taking on too much can actually stop you from doing other tasks or opportunities which may come along later. Saying no is definitely not easy. It’s the way you say no which will take away that feeling of guilt, and make the process of saying no a lot easier for you to do.

How To Say “No” Without Guilt

Saying no is a lot harder than you may think. We all want to take every opportunity that comes our way. How you say no is crucial to help remove that feeling of guilt and getting more done.

You want to make sure you leave that door open for that task or opportunity.

  • Can you reschedule for another day or time. Which will work better for you – “That sounds amazing I would love to. Could we possibly reschedule this for next week if possible. I’ve a few commitments this week and I’ve so many ideas for this project it sounds great!” * You see you’re still showing your enthusiasm. Rearranging for a time which better fits into your schedule.*

  • Can you reschedule a task for another day – “this needs to be done by the end of the week.I know I won’t be able to full give it 100% today. I’ll move it for tomorrow and get up an 1 hour earlier to get it done.

Saying no doesn’t have to come across negative. you can say no and still leave that door of opportunity open by giving:

  • A Why? 

  • An Alternative.

Download my free handy worksheet. Inside you’ll find a complete walkthrough, to making the 1st steps of your unstoppable, stress-free to-do list. Letting you get more done and feeling more relaxed. Click the button below!

work from home productivity to-do list


Successful productive moms make sure they create a detailed plan for their high priority tasks.

To keep this post nice and easily digestible, I’ve separated Steps 1 & 2 into a two parts:

You can read Step 2 by clicking HERE!

Where Should You Start?

I know seeing all those tasks on your to-do list can be overwhelming.

But the secret to getting them all done without feeling overwhelmed:

  1. Start creating Smart To Do Lists. Download my FREE handy workbooks, click the button below to help you get started.
  2. work from home productivity to-do listSay “No”, more often.  Allow yourself more free time for reshuffling, family time and yourself. To help you out even further, download my free printable to do list template from my resources library. To help you plan and organize your daily and weekly to do lists, when you grab you free productivity worksheets.


3.  Once you’ve your to do list down, have a read of STEP 2 by clicking HERE! – ‘How to Finally Kick Out Stress for Good! When You Work From Home

Let me help you get a simple schedule into play. Click here to read HOW TO EASILY COMPLETE YOUR TO DO LIST IN 5 SIMPLE STEPS! Discover:

  •   5 Easy Methods to Making a Stress-Free To Do List.
  •   How You Can Easily Complete All Your Tasks on your To Do List Everyday!
  •   Grab your FREE Daily & Weekly To Do List Printable Templates. Customize in your planner and print as many copies as you like!

Your to do list is the starting point to increase your productivity. To make the most of your to do list without that feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed. Think about what you’re adding to your daily to do list, consider what you can manage.

Start making your to-do list work around you and you home-life, by making SMART TO-DO LIST’S.

Have you mastered your to-do list? What’s your favorite top tip for getting tasks ticked off your list?

Leave them in the comments below and let’s share are most productive habits.

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8 thoughts on “How To Stop Being Overwhelmed By Your To Do List

  • I hate people who can’t say no, tell you yes, then flake! I have a sister in law who does that all the time. I’m more offended by the flake action than saying no and I think she thinks it’s rude to say no or decline an invitation to get together. Thanks for the reminder to keep it real and say no!

    • Hi Patty
      Thank you, you’re more than welcome. A lot of people do find it very difficult to say no (fear of disappointment or that dreaded guilt). It can take a little time but once you see how saying no is not always such a bad thing, it can actually open different doors of opportunities we may not have had prior. Thanks again for having a read.

  • Hi Rhea, it took a while, but I don’t find it so difficult to say no anymore. Life is too short to be stressed and I work my ‘To Do’ lists sort of backwards. I see how much time I think I will have and mark down To Do’s to fit with my schedule and a few To Do’s (if I have time), rather than noting too many To Dos.

    Excellent tips.


    • Hiya Debbie
      Thank you so much Debbie. Totally agree with you there. We never quite know what life has in store for us, so I’ve always tried to not give into the stress (granted it may not always be easy at times, lol). Looking at how much time you have first before creating your todo list, sounds like a great way to keeping your list realistic with your commitments. Great tip , thanks again for having a read. x

  • This is great. A lot of times we aren’t even aware of the fact that we can say no, and that we are entirely overwhelming ourselves with too many yeses. When my list gets too long I get tired just looking at it! LOL Do I want to complete it? At this point I’m too exhausted to start. Over the last several years I’ve had to trim down my life. It’s not nearly as full now, but it doesn’t get as overwhelming as it used too. I’m less stressed and anxious, and I enjoy it a lot more! Great tips!

    • Thank you so much Nikki, I know exactly what you mean. It’s so easily to want to do everything that needs doing and slapping it down on the to-do list, but I found it just super overwhelming. The past few months I’ve reduced my stress levels just by putting less on my daily to-do list, and you’re right it does become so much more enjoyable. Thanks for having a read, so glad you liked it. x

  • I’m single but this list was really helpful! Thanks for sharing.
    Let me add that trying not to make a to-do list for every single day helps a loooot! It gives us the feeling that we are given some off day. A day to relax a bit. That way these to-do lists look less threatening and our minds welcome them more nicely than ever before 😉 that’s the trick I’ve been using for so long for better productivity. And let me tell u it does work. Some days we should allow ourselves to do what we WANT to do instead of what we SHOULD

    • Thank you Unaiza, so glad you found it helpful.
      I completely agree with you. It’s so easy to try and squeeze in as many to-do’s as possible. It’s easy to forget we all need to fit in time to simply relax and have a timeout, which is just as important.
      That’s a great tip. I know when I see a huge to-do list, I’m already put off before I’ve even began, lol.
      Definitely agree sometimes in life we should allow ourselves to do what we want. Thanks again for taking the time to have a read, much appreciated. 🙂

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