How To Overcome A NEVER-ENDING To-Do List

Does your TO-DO list drive you mad?

Do you work through as much as you can each day, only to find that you have added on as many as you have taken off – if not more?

Don’t worry, you are not alone. In this blog, I will share what to do when your to-do list keeps getting bigger & bigger, and you cannot go through your tasks to crush them. 

This is the same cycle we go through in a business, and we spend all of the time checking off tasks and adding new ones. This entire cycle of constantly trying to crush your to-do list and getting more added can sometimes make us feel like we’re not progressing. There’s always more to do and never enough time to do it.

I can’t remember when my to-do list got so huge…

What do we do when we’re stuck in this cycle with the never-ending to-do list, and how do we truly find balance and peace while still achieving our goals and success?

I can’t remember when my to-do list got so huge that I gave up hope of ever clearing it. It was around some time when the business started taking off. I remember I had a to-do list where I was adding more tasks, and all of a sudden, one week passed, and I couldn’t clear it. Then two weeks passed, and I couldn’t clear it. Then three weeks passed, and I still couldn’t clear it.

I was trying hard, working 12 to 14 hours a day, even trying to squeeze work on weekends, but I couldn’t clear all the tasks that needed to be done.

Then one month, two months, and three months passed. I started getting overwhelmed with just how much work needed to be done within the business. I was getting near burnout, causing me to feel exhausted and not enjoy the process of building my business.

I took some time to reflect and pause to think to myself, what can I do to solve this problem of a never-ending to-do list in my business that always left me feeling like I wasn’t doing enough?

The key to success is…

I realized that when we look at the highest-level entrepreneurs who run billion-dollar companies like Amazon, Tesla, or Google, most likely even the CEOs of those companies have a never-ending to-do list.

The truth is no matter how hard they work, they could spend probably a million hours, but there will always be more to do.

Ultimately, I’ve also realized that most of them have regular schedules like everyone else when we look at their schedules and lifestyles. They tend to stop working around 3 p.m or 4 p.m and take off for the day, spend time with their families, play golf, and do whatever they want to do.

This led me to figure out that the key is not having a to-do list that is empty but rather, 

the key is allowing yourself to leave the work undone. The key is accepting that even though your to-do list is never-ending, it will never end. The truth is there will always be more work to do, more to achieve, and higher milestones to crush.

At the end of the day, it is not about checking off that list. It’s about finding and maintaining balance. It’s about being able to put in the work when you are scheduled to put in the work, whether that’s a nine to five for you or nine to seven. As an entrepreneur, you get to control your schedule.

You must be comfortable in the chaos

What is most important is that you schedule your hours to work on your business when you want to, and then you must allow yourself the distance to tune out to turn off and leave the work undone.

You must be comfortable in the chaos. You must be comfortable knowing that there will be fires to put out. 

There is always so much to do, but you’ll still take evenings off and spend them with your friends and family. Despite it, you’ll still take two weeks to go on vacation and recharge your battery so that you can come to your business and approach your business from a place of abundance.

It’s important to set deadlines, but it’s also important not to let the schedule run your life and understand that the schedule is flexible according to your life and your needs.

You need to approach your business from a mindset of joy, passion, fun, and enjoyment. You need to be in a state of acceptance.

This never-ending to-do list is going to continue to be never-ending. The key is balancing this never-ending to-do list with our personal lives and our needs and understanding that it’s okay to separate ourselves from this to-do list and take time off that we need.

Written by Abby El-Asmar

Abby is a business & marketing consultant – and the founder of Ummahpreneur. His passion is to nurture a new generation of Muslim entrepreneurs that will impact the world in a positive way while uplifting the Ummah!

September 9, 2022

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