Do you ever have days when you have so much to do that you simply don’t know where to start?

That feeling of paralysis creeps in and you feel like crying.  It’s all so simply overwhelming.  Two hours later of shuffling bits of paper from one place to the other, re-writing to-do lists and five cups of coffee and still nothing has been achieved.

Sound familiar?

A while ago I came up with an idea that has helped me enormously when I have been faced with this predicament.

Grab yourself some index cards or post-it notes.

Write all your things to do on these cards or notes or even small pieces of paper.  Now stack these up in order of priority.  Remember to think about looming deadlines and which tasks are going to make you money when prioritizing them.  Now take the top item and do it without looking at any of the other items underneath. DO NOT stop until you have completed that top item, then you can move on to the next.

If you have a particular item that is going to take hours (or days!), break this down into smaller chunks.  Say you have to write a programme or finish a study module.  Write down all the components of this.  If you are studying it could be something like

  • Read chapter one
  • Complete actions on chapter one
  • Submit answers on Chapter one

Give each of these items a card of its own.

If writing a programme it could be

  • Plan subject matter
  • Map out headings
  • Source information
  • Source images
  • Plan module 1
    • And so on and so on

Again, give each item a card of its own.  This way you can intersperse large tasks with smaller ones to break up the monotony.

It’s all about taking control and not letting yourself get overwhelmed.  Once you have a plan, no matter how simple, you will feel more in control and know that you can manage what you have to do.

If you like this idea and find it useful, let me know in the comments below.


Concord Record Card Smooth 127x77mm Assorted Ref 16099 [Pack of 100]

Post-it Notes, 76 x 76 mm – Energetic Colours, 6 Pads (100 Sheets Per Pad)