How To Empty Your To-Do List Each Day

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Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your massive to-do list? This has been my primary state of being for as long as I can remember. Always feeling behind and like there has been way more assigned to me than I could ever possibly get done.

A Streamlined List Is a Streamlined Life

My dream has been to live a streamlined life. For a long time I have known this is a possibility for me, but not how to make it happen.

Since watching a few Esther Hicks videos during the recent 2016 Hay House World Summit, I have been reinvigorated to follow the principles of the Law of Attraction. I’m focusing on how I’m feeling as my main concern in life as the way to getting my life to match the dream in my mind.

The cornerstone of bringing my dream of living a streamlined (as in, the opposite of overwhelmed) life has always been getting my to-do list to zero at the end of each day and week.

I see myself not being behind on tasks. Being able to handle things as they come into my life. Not procrastinating. Doing what I love because time to do what I love exists.

I see everything in my life as an extension of my to-do list. Anything that isn’t quite the way I want it to be or isn’t done is on the list. Sometimes not everything is written down. It often feels too overwhelming to leave “organize the garage” on there all the time, but I know it’s something I will do eventually. This list is my ultimate yard stick of how far I am in my present moment from where I see myself in the future.

I have willed myself to feel as if everything in my life were already the way I wanted it to be. I constantly struggle with wanting to pretend I am not overwhelmed, only to eventually drag myself back to the reality of having a never-ending list to contend with.

A Streamlined Life Starts Somewhere

Last night, as I was going to bed, I was remembering a bedtime meditation I recently found on YouTube by Esther Hicks. I don’t always meditate before bed, but a few nights of difficulty falling asleep brought me to do a search for a quick guided meditation.

In the meditation, she says “There is nothing for me to do right now.” The whole theme of the meditation is to get your mind to turn off and let go of the hundreds of things that like to go through it as you are trying to make peace with the day enough to let sleep take over.

The meditation is really good and has helped me get to sleep a few times. I wasn’t listening to it last night, but I like the messages in it so much that I was thinking about a few of the things she says and suddenly it hit me:

my to-do list is empty when I go to sleep.

To-Do Lists Don’t Exist at Bedtime

I have never allowed myself to truly turn off my to-do list. I’m always running through in my mind when I go to sleep what I have to get done the next day, and all day I’m re-calculating how much more I can get done today. Trying desperately to clear this thing off.

So far, no success. But I realized last night that I can be okay with that, for now. The concept that my to-do list is empty when I go to sleep wouldn’t have worked on me a few years ago when I would stay up late to try to get things done. I often felt like I couldn’t go to sleep because I had too much to do.

But I have let that go, and now I get to go to bed at night with the feeling that everything is done. Because I am willing to allow myself the freedom of having nothing to do when bedtime comes. I can lay in bed and think “There is nothing for me to do right now.” And I can have a blank to-do list for a whole seven hours or so. Very exciting!

Getting to have a blank to-do list at bedtime is a huge step in the right direction for me. I know that how we feel is what we get coming back to us in our lives. After constantly feeling overwhelmed for years, I am not surprised that this is still often the predominant feeling of my life.

But I am changing that, and it starts with cutting myself some slack when my head hits the pillow at night.

Does your to-do list race through your mind at bedtime? What do you do to turn it off? Please share your thoughts!

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  1. Meg Evans May 31, 4:09 pm

    Turning off the list at bedtime sounds like a good start. The list itself is not what makes you feel overwhelmed, you know; what does that is the idea that you can’t relax or have any time to yourself until it is clear.

    Hmm… that just gave me an idea for a blog post… a list of stuff that has been annoyingly hanging around on the to-do list, but in fact doesn’t need to be done any time this decade because nobody really cares. 🙂

    1. anniehurley Jun 1, 6:27 am

      Haha! I love the idea that no one else cares about our to-do lists but us. Looking forward to the post!


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