How to Master Your Never-Ending To-Do List

Our resident psychiatrist Samantha Boardman offers tips for tackling tasks so you have time for what you really want.

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Q: My daily to-do list is so bottomless that I end up overwhelmed and accomplish little. Any tricks to stay on track?

Take advantage of research suggesting that willpower is greatest in the morning and do the things that require self discipline, like going to the gym or doing your taxes, early in the day. Along these lines, plan ahead. There are plenty of things you can do to help you feel less out of control: Choose your outfit the night before. Always keep your keys and cell phone in the same place. If you want to run in the morning, place your sneakers and running clothes by your bed. If you want to spend more quality time with your kids, plan it. Unless it is on your schedule, it might fall by the wayside.

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“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once” is a quip attributed to Einstein. But these days, everything seems to happen at once. The good news is that when we feel less conflicted, we restore our sense of time.

Dr. Samantha Boardman is a clinical instructor in psychiatry and an assistant attending psychiatrist at Weil Cornell Medical College in New York and the the founder of positivepercription.com.

A version of this article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of Marie Claire.

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