Stress Management

Make a To-Do List

The dog needs grooming. There’s no milk in the fridge. Your meeting tomorrow got cancelled so you have to reschedule. You need to do that thing you promised your daughter, plus you have to buy a present for your friend’s birthday, and oh, wait, is that doctor’s appointment tomorrow or next Friday?

All of us can get overwhelmed with the basic tasks of everyday life. Some of us can’t fall asleep at night when our brains become overloaded with the next day’s burdens. The stress of worrying about getting everything done on time is not good for our brains either.

The solution? It’s almost laughably simple: write a to-do list. In fact, writing a to-do list before bed has been scientifically proven to help you fall asleep faster than if you were to write no list at all or even a list of what you’ve already accomplished.

Keep a small pad and pen by your bedside, and spend a few minutes before you shut your eyes writing down what has to get done. The simple act of writing it all down will do wonders not only to alleviate stress, it will act as a reminder the next day as you make your way through each hour.


  • Scullin, M. K., Krueger, M. L., Ballard, H. K., Pruett, N., & Bliwise, D. L. (2018). The effects of bedtime writing on difficulty falling asleep: A polysomnographic study comparing to-do lists and completed activity lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology. General, 147(1), 139–146.

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