September 8, 2016
7 ways to deal with long to-do lists



Do you make to-do lists?

I make a lot of them. I remember making them since school days under different names like the daily plan, timetable, to-do list etc while planning my studies or daily life or vacation. Whatever ride I am in, I had a list with me. For people like me, these lists are a habit. Howsoever less you reach a finished list, It doesn’t stop you from making new ones.

In life, when we are trying to play multiple roles and have the inability to say NO, we often end up with really loooong to-do lists. 

You have to clean the house. But I think you need to write a blog post first. That doesn’t mean you can forget the webinar, you joined yesterday. But there are many missed classes to catch up in that course you are doing. I remind you, you are still not doing anything about your health, though. Isn’t it so bad of you that you haven’t called home for a week? In between when is the last time you cooked a good dish for him? The laundry is still in the dryer, just in case you forgot!! Aww!! Look at your hair!! You are going to do something about it right ?

I am pretty sure that you had scarier to-do lists than this. Today let me share seven ways to deal with these deadly loong to-do lists we have. When it comes to human beings, I am a hard believer of individuality and uniqueness we possess. There is no one fits for all solutions about us. Some tips work for some people and some occasions. Choose yours and let me know if it worked.

Here you go.


Take your to-do list and do a quick scan for the ones that need immediate action. Like the time bounded webinars or the deadline meetings and so on. Underline them and ignore the rest for the time being. Get the underlined tasks to a new list and start doing as if you have that short list only.


Looking at the list , we can see some tasks that occupy a line, but which can be done and struck off in a matter of seconds. Or a couple of minutes. Start with such quick tasks and be happy that you have a shorter list to complete.


Yes. That’s just opposite to the previous approach. But remember the point about individual choices. I had used both ways and benefited in different occasions. Eat the frog first is a famous approach propagated by Brian Tracy under the book of the same title. Tracy asks us to do the most difficult and most procrastinated task on the list first in the morning so that the rest of the list will be a breeze. Eating a frog first in the morning might make us not bother about anything else during the day.


There is no doing just because there are lots to do. Get into the mood of doing by reading or watching something inspirational. Last week when I was overwhelmed with decluttering and organising home, I walked straight to a bookstore and bought Marie Kondo’s book on Konmari method. I completed the book in a few hours and had a decluttering spree after that.


Yes. That’s allowed. You can erase some from the list if it is tooo loong to manage. After all, it is our list guys. Who shall ever bother? And learn to say NO to things that you don’t enjoy doing.


This works. When you are overwhelmed with a million jobs around, make a coffee date with yourself and just relax. These relaxing ‘me time’ gives us so much energy to do what we are supposed to do.

PS: If you are not a coffee lover, I really don’t know a substitute :-/ Coffee equals coffee only!


Let’s be honest here. These screens, phone or laptop or iPad or whatever, are the greatest distractions of this time. Sometimes just going offline and starting to work on the lists will be the best way you dealt with those looong lists ever.

What are the ways you deal with these overflowing to-do lists? Let me know in the comments below.

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  1. Oh my!! This one’s too good…loved it Farz!
    To talk about my choice, I frequently go for inspirational talks or articles which can evoke my dreams to surface 🙂 Setting the lock screen and home screen of your cell to ‘stop dreaming ; start work!’ or ‘now or never’ or such kinda stuffs may help ( its helps me, afterall)

    1. Thanks a ton Fayi for stopping by. Quotes on our screens and walls- I do agree thats a great way to initiate some action😍Great tip dear👍

  2. I love making lists – they’re so fun! hehe I love point number 4 about getting yourself inspired and motivated. I find that when I’m in the flow, things go much more smoother. The other thing is really being committed and asking yourself why you want to do this. Whenever I find myself getting overwhelmed with my to do list, I reminded myself of how good/productive/full I’d feel after completing the task. That really motivates me 🙂

  3. Omg I used to be so bad with lists. I would make them and never use them haha but I’ve gotten so much better. These are some really useful tips that I’m going to start using, in sha Allah!

    1. Yeah most of the time we have a good struggle with lists Chelsea. Yet it is worth making one every time. Glad you found these tips useful. 🙂

  4. I don’t make list of what I have to do but my mother is the only one in our home who makes so many lists.I think because she has to do lots of work but guess what after reading this I’m planning to make one as my university is going to start on Tuesday after Eid Holidays & I am so pissed off because I have to do lot of things so yes this post is extremely helpful for me & my mother.Thank you for sharing this.
    -Team Ayeina.

  5. Thanks for the motivating post. With lust if things to do, I find it difficult to prioritize. I toggle from activity to another. Finally I am left with number of incomplete tasks and longer to do list. 🙁

    Inshall Allah, I’ll try the tips here. Motivation and discipline play important role in accomplishing bigger tasks. I hope you suggest tips to accomplish such tasks. I would love to read it. 🙂 <3

    1. ThankYou Haya for dropping by. Staying motivated and inspired is the only option for the bigger tasks in our life. True. I will try to come up with those tips soon insha Allah 🙂

  6. Haha this is great; I especially needed this today as I’m sitting at home and really need to focus and concentrate on everything that I need to get done for work. Thank you for sharing.. I’ve already got my cup of coffee next to me!

    – AH

  7. Some great and really handy tips! I really need to follow this guideline. I have a really bad habit of making long lists in my head and then it gets overwhelming when I can’t complete everything on time.

  8. making up lists – ending up doing nothing – regretting later on…and the cycle goes on:(.. this s wat happens with me usually..all the points mentioned above is juz written exclusively for me i feel:) feeling inspired:)…thanx aloot farzu

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