To-Do Lists Revisited

I had a comment that I thought I would share and chat about…   

How do you keep from becoming overwhelmed and not getting things done on your list as fast as you'd like?   

Good question!!    When I read this the first thing that came to my mind was..  expectations!   

We all have certain expectations of what we want to accomplish in a day.  If I was becoming overwhelmed by not getting things done as quickly as I would like then I would have to ask myself if my expectations for what I am actually able to do in a day just too much.   

We are all in different places in life and when I had a lot of young children in my home my expectations of what I could reasonably accomplish were always to high.  I had to scale them back and adjust to what I could make happen in a day..  you know, my brain said I could do it all, but real life around me showed me I couldn’t!  

The second thing that came to my mind was priorities.  I work by priorities.  I figure the main things that I must get done in a day.  If I have so much going on in my life that I can’t keep on top of the priorities then I need to take things off my plate or at least greatly reduce what I have going on.   

The third (and last) thing that comes to my mind is something I have dealt with in my own life.. Laziness (I hesitate to even bring this up because I don’t want it to be taken wrong and I am in NO way saying this about my commenter or anyone else..  just what I have dealt with that gets in my way of staying on top of things and getting overwhelmed).   I have fought just not doing what I should do to be productive each day (it has always been intrinsically important value to me as a stay at home wife/mom to be as productive as I can be for my husband, family and home.. but it does not mean I have not fought myself along the way in reaching this goal LOL!! ).  I have found my to-do lists to be very helpful in this.  Most evenings I rewrite my list (putting the unchecked items on a new list) and adding tomorrow’s agenda.  This really helps keep me focused in the mornings.  After quiet time, coffee, and computer I am not feeling like.. now what direction should I move in?  I already know!   

Now the fourth thing..  (I guess 3 was not last! )..  I make sure to include my children in all the household functions.  Mine are older now and can capably handle the house without me.  This provides me an incredible amount of help and makes it possible to get a lot of other things done in a day.   We have a well established routine and chore lists and that helps me to not feel like the house is falling down around me.  When things get out of shape it takes 4 or 5 of us a very short time to put it all back together and move on.   

Now it is time for me to check back in with my to-do list and get stuff done (I got on the computer to pay a bill and look where it took me..  maybe I needed to add “distractions” to that list I just wrote! LOL  ).. 


  1. that was really encouraging--I think I need to scale back on my expectations on what I can get done--I have a 3 yr old, 2yr old and a 5 month old and a farm to take care of (and a husband) and cooking 3 square meals a day from scratch no less--my house always seems to be behind! Mainly the laundry and dishes overwhelm me. My mother had the most pristine spotless house so I guess I expect that of myself but the Bible says it is not wise to compare ourselves with others.

    Thanks again--to do lists are great!

  2. Wonderful post and timely post Crystal!


  3. Hi Crystal, how do you get your children involved with your chores? Mine do not want to help, they want to play. When I force them to help, they complain the whole time.

    I am so exhausted of asking all the time form them to do their chores - just set up the table, fill the glass with water.

    They are 7 and 10 and I don't think that asking for help to set up the table is expecting too much from them?

    What do you think?


  4. I think laziness is also a problem for myself. I have a two year old, one year old, and expecting our third child. There are days I do nothing but cook and take care of the kids just cause I am tired. Even though my husband has to get up and go to work reguardless if he is tired or not. And I know he wants to come home to a clean house. It's just hard to force myself into doing "it"....whatever it may be.

  5. sarah @ mamas-bloggin.comMay 19, 2009 at 3:33 AM

    well, I just wanted to say that I spent quite a bit of time on your spot on the net today. :) I have enjoyed the information you share immensely!

    I often feel overwhelmed with my little brood (aged 8, 5,4,2)

    I realize this isn't nearly as many as some of the blogs I frequent and if mine hadn't been so close together, who knows. ;) The 3 youngest are SO intense. I often find myself only getting to their needs and the basics (laundry and dishes) and then tiring out & giving up. lol.

    I have gleaned much insight from your newletters, and when I have more time, I'll return to read more. I appreciate the time you've taken to share.!. ♥

    Thank you!

  6. Hi Crystal - how do I start receiving your newsletter? Thanks, Sherri


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