13 Ways to Make Peace With Your To-Do List

Alix Nichole
4 min readOct 9, 2022
Photo by the author

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with planners and planning since college in the late 80s when I first came across a day planner. The initial appeal was not unlike getting new school supplies– crisp, clean, unsullied by the imperfection of life and holding the promise of finally being able to realize some state that always felt just out of reach.

The pattern sustained itself for many years to come:

  • Begin with enthusiasm.
  • Track and record all I need to accomplish — usually three times as much as I can feasibly complete in a single day.
  • Do those tasks anyway.
  • Repeat. For three days, maybe a week.
  • Rebel against exhausting pace and schoolmarm planner and don’t open it again for weeks, maybe months.
  • Surrender to:
  • The frustration of feeling disorganized
  • A looming deadline or task that needed to be completed — most always something where I am accountable to someone outside of myself
  • Open the planner and feel shame at the weeks of empty pages.
  • Do a brain dump of all that needs to be done.
  • Feel overwhelmed and eat something or do something else not listed in the planner.



Alix Nichole

I write about the spiritual and sometimes practical components of universally human experiences - so pretty much anything is game.