Going the distance

Stay focused by keeping your to-do list in sight

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. April 10, 2014

Need more help?

If the stress in your life is more than you can cope with, get help right away.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Go to the nearest hospital or emergency room
  • Call your physician, health provider or clergy
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

By definition, stress occurs when demands exceed your capacity. And when you're so overloaded, you cease to function effectively. Being over-stressed can play out in many ways. For example, high blood pressure, eating disorders, insomnia and just general misery are all signals that you've exceeded your ability to cope with stress.

It's hardly rocket science that you need to get a good night's sleep, eat a nutritious diet and exercise on a regular basis, but a stressed-out colleague shared with me an interesting tip. While everyone knows the value of a to-do list — what you don't write doesn't get done. But the to-do list can't help you if you can't find it or don't review it. So my colleague suggested that you make certain that that your to-do list is physically available to you and within your line of sight as your day evolves.

Does that mean you need to carry a billboard with you? Of course not, but at least have some reminder of what you need to do today. This can be on an index card that you keep in your pocket or a note on your smart phone.

So in a nutshell, keep a to-do list and keep it handy. This is one technique to help you keep on track to achieve your personal and professional goals.

Weigh in. Does this make sense? We are all pilgrims on a difficult journey.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Join the discussion at #Stress.

April 10, 2014