How to Get out of To-Do List Hell

For this article by Jo Ilfeld, Executive Leadership Coach on to-do list hell the image shows a yellow background with a empty list and a pen next to it.

In the midst of “to-do list hell,” it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and trapped in a never-ending cycle of tasks.

Do you feel like you’re not making the impact you want as a strategic leader because your to-do list keeps giving birth to other lists?

Well, I have a few suggestions to get you out of this hell.

Lately, I’ve been pondering the importance of not just adding more tasks to our to-do lists, but also carving out time for non-to-do list activities. It’s about zooming out from the endless list of tasks and reflecting on what truly matters.

One of them is journaling.

Now before you tell me you’re not a journaling person, hear me out.

Jotting down your thoughts can help clear the cobwebs in your mind and identify your priorities. I have so many things that are spinning around in my head. But getting them down on paper can be a jumping-off point to then step back and think more expansively about what’s important.

Running or hiking in nature can also provide the space to see the bigger picture and reflect on what’s truly important.

And for those with a commute or travel time, instead of filling your ears with podcasts, try letting your mind wander. Use this time to think expansively and reflect on your goals and aspirations.

Incorporating these practices into your routine can help you escape the cycle of to-do list overwhelm.

Read more on expansive thinking: Is It Time To Revaluate Your Context?

Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.

Leave a Comment