Making Sense of a Messy To Do List

June 14, 2022

Image of host Christi for episode 42 Making sense of a messy to do list

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Does it ever seem like your to do list never stops growing? That the more you try to accomplish things the more you just can’t win? I’ve been there. I’m going to tell you exactly how to make sense of your messy to do list by prioritizing what’s important & letting go of the rest.

Adjust Your Mindset

The first thing you need to do when your to do list is really overwhelming & messy is adjust your mindset. I know firsthand that a really big to do list can lead to fear. Fear of failure & never accomplishing your goals. But instead of thinking, “I am never going to be able to finish this,” I want you to recognize that little by little progress adds up. Believe that you can do it. Know in your heart that you will see results & have success. This one little tip can get you much farther than any strategy. If you believe you can do it, you’re going to show up differently.

If you’re having trouble adjusting your mindset on your own, reach out to a trusted friend or mentor to help you. Don’t stay in the pit of despair any longer! It’s okay to ask for help. In fact, asking for help is a sign of strength. So, first – adjust your mindset and believe you can do it. If you aren’t able to do that, reach out to someone to help you.

Eliminate & Let Go

Next, take a good look at your list and see what you can eliminate. A good rule of thumb is that if you’ve moved it on your calendar 3 times, you just need to let it go. It’s obviously not important to you if you haven’t done it already. Is there anything else you can let go of? Look for things that aren’t important or aren’t urgent. And don’t feel guilty for letting things go!

Automate & Delegate

Next, take a look and see if there’s anything you can automate or delegate. Can you add a process to your business that helps you get things done quicker? It could be an automatic lead responder, an email sequence, or the automation of payment reminders. Whatever is an easily repeatable pattern is something you can automate. Check out zapier to connect apps together or see if your CRM or Project Management software has automation tools.

Once you’ve done that, take a look & see what you can delegate. Is there anything that doesn’t actually need your full attention but can be handled by someone else? Keep in mind that CEOs of major companies don’t waste their time on things that could be done by someone else. Step into that CEO role and start to delegate! This can be something as simple as asking your spouse to do the dishes for you or the laundry so you can get some work done.


This is the bulk of the content right here, so I’m going to break it down even further. When your to do list is really messy, you need to learn to prioritize well. How do you do that?

Prioritize Working On Your Business over In Your Business

I believe there are two types of tasks. Tasks that maintain the status quo in your business and tasks that move your business forward. It’s like working on your business vs in your business. You need to prioritize the tasks that are going to move your business forward. This means don’t prioritize client work. Yes, you read that right. Client work is always going to get done. Put the big rocks in first!!! The big rocks should be those tasks that will move your business forward. Tasks that will make you money & grow your business. If you need more help with this, download my free guide – Top 5 Goal Setting Mistakes & How to Avoid Them.

Let Some Balls Bounce

If there are any tasks in your business that don’t need to be tended to every single week, go ahead and let those balls bounce. Did you already look at your financials last week? Maybe it’s okay to skip it this week and focus your efforts on something else. Is there someone else on your team that can handle something? Let them do that. Sometimes it’s okay to skip things for one week, especially if you have regular systems in place for auditing them.

Batch Similar Tasks Together & Schedule It

Next, take a look and see what on your list can be grouped together to work in batches. I have a blog post all about batch work that you can check out HERE. It’s going to save you so much time. So if there are similar tasks like admin work or writing content or things like that, put a block on your calendar some time to work on those tasks and then focus instead on what needs your full attention right away.

Consider How You Feel

If you’re feeling tired, consider doing tasks that will produce easy wins. Those easy wins will energize you & help you keep going. Or, focus on the tasks that don’t need your full attention. It might not be a good idea to film a whole set of YouTube videos when you’re really tired. Instead, focus on something else that would be better suited for how you feel.

If you are feeling energized, then work on those tasks that do need more attention. You can also consider what time of day you work best. Lean into your intuition. If your gut is telling you that you want to record 5 podcast episodes right now, then lean into that! As business owners we have that freedom, right? Let it guide you.

Advice to Brand New Business Owners

Next, I want to talk to the brand-new business owners out there. You probably got into business because you envisioned freedom. You picture what it would be like 5 years in & thought you would have that right away. And now maybe you’re feeling totally overwhelmed. You see other people crushing it & you’re comparing yourself to them. I want to tell you something.

Remember You are Not Alone

I first want you to know you are not alone. We have all been there. Every single one of us in business remembers what it was like when we first started & it was all so daunting. You are not alone! Sometimes just knowing that goes a long way.

Surround Yourself with Community

Next, I want you to surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to do. But make sure it’s people who are willing to share. People who want to lift others up. Find a community that you can learn from, grow with, ask questions to, & get support. Then when you are feeling low you can go to them & ask for help!

Take it One Step At a Time

I can’t stress this enough. You must get tunnel vision and laser focus on your goals & work little by little. Little by little progress adds up. Take it one step at a time! If you think about everything all at once you are going to give up! Instead, focus on one thing for the next month & knock it out. Then, move on to the next thing.

Remember Your Journey is Unique

Don’t look at people on Instagram & compare yourself to them. You are not them. Every single person’s journey is unique. Some people will find success faster than others. That’s okay! We all have our own journey & our own path to take. What you have is unique, and your journey is not going to look the same as someone elses.

Don’t Give Up

I’m going to bring it back full circle. You have to adjust your mindset. Instead of getting overwhelmed & thinking you can’t do this, you have to believe that you can. Believe that it’s going to work. And don’t give up until it does!

You’ve got this, my friend! If you need more help with this, download my free guide The Top 5 Goal Setting Mistakes & How to Avoid Them.

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