How My Daily To-Do List Reduces Anxiety (Plus Free Download)

I’ve always been an organized person, but I didn’t realize that my to-do list could be a tool to manage the anxiety of my busy life. Instead of simply keeping me on track, it helps me visualize the work I have to do each day, and if you wake up with anxiety about having too much to do, a to-do list may be the answer to your struggle as well.

A little background on me: I am self-employed, and as such, have a number of projects going at any given time. I may do work for 3 to 4 clients and jobs in just one day. As my work started increasing (which is a good thing!) I found that my anxiety was spiking. I’d wake up in the morning with a racing heart, already stressed before the day even started.

While mantras help with this (check out some of my favorite self-doubt mantras), I realized that wasn’t enough. As a visual person, I’ve always needed to write things down when I’m overwhelmed. So one day, that’s exactly what I did—I wrote it all down, including when I thought I could get it done.

The Birth of the Weekly To-Do List

This is when my weekly to-do list was born. I keep it very simple, as you can see in my Instagram post below, and you can too. For me, I just need to see the tasks and and their assigned days to feel at ease and in control of my workload.

I recently started including the days I plan to workout as well. This took away  much of the second-guessing I would do each day. Should I go to the gym today? Should I just do yoga tomorrow?

Because my fitness schedule revolves around how much time in have available on any given day, adding this to my to-do list—planning to workout on my lightest workload days—I stopped playing the guessing game.

Now, my to-do list is one of the most important tools in my anxiety “tool-box.” That may sound corny, but anyone who struggles with this mental illness should have one of their own.

As I check items off the list, I feel accomplished and motivated to get more done, which is both empowering and relieving.

Your To-Do List Template

If you want to start keeping a weekly to-do list to manage your anxiety, download my free to-do list template. It’s simple, but effective. Print it out and keep it on your desk or folded in your wallet or purse as a reminder that you have everything under control.

Click below to download the to-do list template:Free to-do list template

On your busiest days, remember: Your life, your workload and the day are all within your control. You have the power to complete every task and still find time for you.

Jessica Thiefels

Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years. She's the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Honest Body Fitness, where women are warriors who love their bodies. She's also a a full-time writer, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition specialist. She’s written for Shape, Reader’s Digest, AARP, Snap Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and more. Follow Jessica and Honest Body Fitness on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for health articles, workouts tips and more.

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