If you haven’t heard yet, my online course Annihilate Anxiety is launching soon! (Click here to find out more)
The most effective solutions to anxiety are hiding in plain sight.
Among the most overlooked remedies is one that’s deceptively familiar. It’s an indispensable part of many people’s everyday life. And it surprisingly holds a potent cure for anxiety. What is it?
Writing to do lists.
When I say to do list, I specifically mean a daily list of everything you have to do for that day. It should also be updated every single day.
Writing a to do list cultivates mental clarity and a deep-seated sense of serenity. It externalizes your list of responsibilities, which therefore unburdens your mind.
Like deep breathing, to do lists are so simple, yet ridiculously effective in annihilating anxiety.
The Magic of Writing Things Down
The mere act of having things written out alleviates anxiety. Dr. Peter Attia (in this podcast) says that when he writes down everything he needs to do, he’s no longer anxious or worried. He also suggests that people become anxious, not regarding what they have to do, but by fearing that they will forget about what they need to do. So keeping a to do list eliminates that nagging fear of forgetting things.
Another benefit of writing things down is it makes them more likely to come to fruition. The very act of writing bridges the gap between the ethereal and the material realms.
Tips for Keeping a To Do List
- Everything you have to do should be on the list. Don’t keep anything in the back of your mind. This is crucial in reducing anxiety!
- Every task should be small enough to be accomplished that day (chunk big tasks into smaller, bite-sized tasks). For example: If you want to write a novel, your daily to do list should include something like “Write two paragraphs for my novel.”
- Place the most important items at the top of the list.
- No matter what, accomplish the single most important item each day. If you focus on your most important task every day, your achievements over time will be astounding.
What I Personally Do
I keep a to do list as a note on the app Evernote. When something is accomplished, that item gets removed from the list. I update my to do list on a daily (or even hourly) basis, depending on the day. Evernote is so effective because I can include links and pictures along with text. I’m always referring to external sources so this is incredibly useful for me.
Always having a to do list keeps me focused on my most important tasks each day. It gives me an actionable plan, so I’m able to achieve my goals instead of wasting time mindlessly lurking on Facebook all day.
You guessed it! Keep a daily to do list. Create it right now. Maintain your to do list somewhere where you will refer to it every day. This could be in a notebook, a note on your phone, Evernote or whatever medium works best for you.
Externalize your responsibilities and free your mind.
Have fun and get ‘er done.
– Stevie P!
And remember to keep an eye out for Annihilate Anxiety, coming soon!