Tips for how to be productive when overwhelmed, and three different pritnable to-do lists!

Some days are harder than others. As a wife, an employee, friend, mom, etc., we’re also battling our own experiences of emotions and physical experience. Some days we’re sick, tired, sad, scared, confused, achy, etc. But we still need to show up. We still need to be the best version of ourselves that we can be that day and still need to be productive.

But how do we do that? How do we, day after day, give of ourselves in a way that’s effective and not burning ourselves out? Today I’m going to look at this in regards to productivity. I think that the other side of this is self-care. If you need some pointers on practicing self-care, check out what I have to say about it here.

To go with today’s post, I have created three different to-do list. One is a daily to-do list, one is a weekly to-do list, and one is a list that’s based on the concepts in the “focus”  =and “Parking Lot” portions of this post. To access these pintable’s, and more, sign-up for my email list. You can un-subscribe at any time!


When we’re feeling overwhelmed, our brains become a little more disorganized, and we can try to tackle all the things, or think about everything that’s overwhelming us. Looking at the big picture is great, but when I’m overwhelmed, I need to focus at what’s at hand right now. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and subsequently unfocused, take a step back. What is it that’s going on? What are you able to do right now? If you’re looking at a series of tasks that need done, break it into more manageable tasks rather than step by step. For instance, if I know I need to clean every room in my house, get food cooked, get the house decorated, and get the yard cleaned up for a party, I might break it down by categories. From 8-10 I’ll clean, 10:30-11 I’ll focus on the yard, 12-1 I’ll do meal prep and cook, etc. Notice that I broke it down by category or priorities and not every single step that needs done, I also built in some buffer time. Then, at the determined time, I’ll actually break it down to a more specific list for that task Believe me, I’m really good at freaking out and getting unfocused. Doing this helps me (and my family) immensely.

Parking Lot

So now we’re focused (or trying to focus) so that we’re staying on target. But things come up. Priorities have to shift. Or, we remember 15 other things that have to happen. Have a spot that you can jot down additional things that aren’t a part of any list you have. Put the new thoughts and items in the parking lot to come back to when you have the time or mental capacity. If something new absolutely needs to be dealt with now, take a few minutes to re-evaluate what you’re currently doing and if anything can be put on the parking lot. These can be to-do items, it can be worse that you have (you can stick your parking lot in a journal, and have a list of worries, concerns that are coming up). The point of a parking lot is to have a place for your thoughts/items to sit while you’re doing what you need to do, but then it’s there for you to come back to. Check out my free printable to-do list that includes a parking lot.


On days we’re overwhelmed or not feeling at our best, we need to give ourselves grace as well as offer grace to those around us. Giving ourselves the grace and compassion in the bad days, reminds us that no, we’re not perfect, but we are going to pull it together and can be an even better version of ourselves tomorrow. Recognizing that I might not be doing the best now, allows me to look at what I need to do five minutes from now, because I’m giving myself the space to fail. Look at your day. What does overwhelmed and frazzled look like? How do you treat yourself, others? Forgive yourself, truly allow yourself to have failed in moments you failed. Speak affirmations to yourself until you start to believe them. (If you’re stuck on affirmations, check out my 30 affirmations post, where you can also gain access to the printable).

What are your tips for staying productive when overwhelmed? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments? And again, if you haven’t signed up for the newsletter yet, sign up for access to pintable’s, upcoming email challenges, and more!



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