The power of a simple to-do list

The power of a simple to do listTimes of transition–whether positive or negative–can be overwhelming. It’s scary to go through a change like your kids leaving for college or losing your job. On top of the sadness you feel that things aren’t the way they were, many people feel lost worrying about everything they have to do to get the next phase going. It feels impossible to figure out even where to start! The next time you feel this way, pick up a pen and piece of paper.

Writing out a to-do list allows you to collect your thoughts in one place and prioritize your responsibilities. When everything is laid out in front of you, you can stop constantly going through your needs in your head, which frees up space for you to focus on bigger dreams. Plus, as you make your way down the list crossing off tasks one by one, you will see your progress in real time and feel like you’re getting stuff done every day.

Now, the real question is: what to put on that to-do list.

If your kids have left for college and you’re unsure how to spend your time, make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do and never had the time for before. This will give you an idea of where to start and you can add actionable steps to get going on your new goals.

If you’ve lost your job and are overwhelmed at the thought of finding a new one, make a list of small steps you can take to prepare yourself. Start with updating your resume and LinkedIn profile, then give yourself daily goals to search and apply for a few jobs at a time or reach out to people in your network. Tackling the steps slowly at first, with goals that can easily be met, will help you become more comfortable. Eventually your time of transition will turn into a new adventure you’ve mapped out for yourself.


Photo credit: dmachiavello

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