A Guide for the Overwhelmed and Overworked

Are you overwhelmed or overworked by the number of tasks on your to-do list? Are you constantly overwhelmed by emails and notifications from your co-workers, clients, and boss?

You’re not alone. It’s estimated that 80% of people working in corporate America believe they do too much work for too little pay. Many people describe daily life as a hamster running on its wheel with no end.

The good news is there are steps you can take to prioritize tasks and manage your workload effectively − even if it means trimming down that overflowing inbox!

Create a to-do list to take control from being overworked.

The first step in prioritizing your tasks is to create a comprehensive list of everything you need to do, whether important or not. The key here is listing the priorities on your plate and including any smaller tasks that might help you come closer to completing them (for example, “Look up how much it costs for shipping my package”).

Once you have all these priorities neatly listed, decide which ones are more important. Write these at the top of the page and mark them with an asterisk. This will be easy for others around you who may be helping with this task-management exercise (like co-workers) to spot the priorities. Later, you can review your lists together, checking what has been accomplished.

Prioritize each item based on its importance relative to other items on the list.

Doing this effectively requires some self-reflection about what matters regarding work responsibilities versus personal commitments or hobbies outside work life. However, better decision-making processes will follow once this has been achieved. No one needs to be overwhelmed by unnecessary details.

Organize the list

Organize the list. The first step to prioritizing is to list your tasks. This can be done in any number of ways:

  • Use a planner, such as an Erin Condren Life Planner or some other kind of paper planner
  • Use an app on your phone, like Wunderlist or Todoist, that lets you organize lists within the application itself (iTunes and Google Play Stores have plenty of these types of applications) 
  • Create a spreadsheet in Excel, Numbers, or Google Sheets
  • Write everything down on a whiteboard or chalkboard wall – this method is great if you want something fun, attractive, and tactile.

A list will help you be organized and focus on what you must do to prevent being overworked.

A to-do list is a way of organizing your tasks. Such a list will help you prioritize what needs to be done and focus on the tasks. If you don’t have time to do everything, ensure that the most important tasks are completed first. For example, if there’s a meeting your boss wants to attend more than anything else, ensure this happens before any other task is undertaken.

Also, if there’s a deadline for a project or event, this should be included on your list. There will be no confusion about deadlines or time before completion (or submission). Then, add any other tasks that must be completed after those two tasks have been accomplished.


If you’re looking for a way to organize your to-do list and prioritize tasks, this is the guide! I hope this has helped shed some light on how prioritizing works and has given you some ideas on how to set this up for yourself. Remember that many different types of prioritization systems are out there, so don’t feel restricted by what we’ve covered here today. Good luck with your work!

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