A few additional thoughts:

So, who usually wins…

…in a race pitting you and your to-do list against the clock?

Well, if trying to “get everything done” or “squeeze everything in” makes you hemorrhage a lot of energy, you lose.

Every time.

(Yeah, let’s not do that.)

When any of us has to make a quick decision under pressure, the anxiety and inner-turmoil of the moment can eat up a lot of our personal energy.

With your to-do list, however, you have the opportunity to make your decisions at a time when you are emotionally neutral and pressure-free.

Right after you make your list, ask yourself:

If my afternoon / day / week goes awry, which of these to-dos will I choose to drop?

Better still…

For every item on your list, ask yourself: 

If this item doesn’t get done, what’s my Plan B?

Now, your brain will NOT be able to come up with any Plan Bs if the voices in your head are good at convincing you that EVERYTHING ON YOUR LIST IS EQUALLY IMPORTANT AND MUST GET DONE – ASAP – BY YOU ALONE!

That’s why Step One will always be to remind yourself that:

…you are just one person

…you are doing the best you can do

…and sometimes everyone involved will just have to take a breath and accept the fact that something didn’t get done.

(Note: just because someone chooses to freak out about that fact doesn’t mean you have to expend your energy that way too.)

Trust me, if the world was in danger of ending because something went un-done, I would have personally triggered global destruction a long time ago.