How long is your to-do list? Half a page? Two pages? More? I used to have multi-page to-do lists and feel constantly overwhelmed every time I looked at the list throughout the week.

Then, I learned how to break that feeling of overwhelm.

Here’s my system for breaking overwhelm…

Every Sunday night, I create a to-do list of all the projects that need to get done. It’s usually a LOT of projects. It looks pretty overwhelming.

Then, I take each project and break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. This is called chunking.

For example, let’s say I have a photoshoot on Wednesday. Rather than just put “photoshoot” on my to-do list, I break it down into…

  • Charge camera batteries
  • Empty SD cards
  • Pack camera equipment
  • Photoshoot
  • Upload photos to computer
  • Edit photos
  • Send edited photos to client

I do this with any bigger projects, as well as any projects that just feel overwhelming to conquer.

Once this is done, I then create individual to-do lists for each day of the week.

For example, on Monday, I’ll charge my camera batteries and empty SD cards. On Tuesday, I’ll pack all of my equipment. On Wednesday, I’ll go to the photoshoot. On Thursday or Friday, I’ll then upload, edit, and send photos.

Then, I go and do this with all of the tasks and projects I have for that week.

By the time I’m done, a week’s worth of projects that are causing me stress and anxiety are now turned into daily to-do lists with easy, manageable action items.