Some may call me the “List Master.” I love a good list. I mostly love the checking off of said list.
In School: perfect method. Write the list, check it off, onto the next list / next class / next semester / etc.
In Work: different story.
When in a professional environment there are very few jobs that just need you to check some things off the list. In your career you will be expected to juggle lots of different balls, meet multiple different deadlines, manage up to different people, oversee things at an ongoing basis, follow-up as needed, and so on.
When I started my career I experienced extreme overwhelm… and it was for one key reason: the list was never fully checked off. NEVER. I would think I wrote down everything I needed to accomplish and then upon almost completing it I would have 10 more priorities added.
During a lunch with a mentor of mine I once asked “how do you not allow the work stress to overtake your entire life?”
His response": “you need to be okay with never completing your to-do list”
NEVER completing the list? NEVER? Sheer terror strikes at first thought of that. But then, understanding.
The more I try to check it off, the more stressed I become. I cannot possibly out work my checklist. And if you are doing that - you probably can be given more responsibilities.
So this blog isn’t “10 steps to easily XYZ” or “5 quick tips to _____”, it is simply saying, it’s time to get comfortable with the uncomfort. It’s time to be okay with the chaos.
As long as you’re prioritizing each day what is the most important and working down from there, you’re doing the best you can and the most anyone expects of you.