Mental Health

Managing Stress & Anxiety with a Task Tracker

A Facebook friend of mine posted about her new method for handling her anxiety levels, routines, and to-do lists. Through organizing my priorities and detailing my tasks, and sorting them into a simple task tracker, I hope to turn her idea into something that helps with my own anxiety (which has been at high levels for a few weeks). It’s too easy to get caught up in all of the things I didn’t accomplish in a day, and I think tracking my tasks will help me focus on the fact that I can and do get things done.

Instructions:

  1. Write a list of all of the things you need to do, want to do, and wish you had time to do in a normal week. (Don’t include things like “travel to Spain”, this isn’t a bucket list!)
  2. Separate your to-do list into categories (examples include: self-care, career, social life, hobbies).
  3. Rank those categories by importance. Breaking down your list of tasks this way will help you prioritize and make time for the things you wished you had time for! (Accomplish the necessities earlier, and you’ll have time for more fun things.)

My Example:

  1. Physical Health — shower, take a bath, wash hair, wash face, do a face mask, manicure, pedicure, shave, wax, go to the gym, go to the pool
  2. Household — cat litter, dishes, clean bathroom, vacuum, laundry, wash bedding
  3. Hobbies — write, design, code, read, crosswords

There are some things I haven’t listed because they are already part of my routine (i.e. feeding my cat, spending time with my partner, going to work). However, if those are the sorts of things you need help solidifying into your routine, add them! There’s nothing wrong with bulking up your to-do list so that you have more to cross off. πŸ˜‰

Other category ideas: mental health, work, outdoor time, social life

Now that we have a list that’s fancily categorized and ranked by priority, how should we put it to use? Not all of our items need to be done daily, after all, so how will we organize when things get done?

I’ve turned my list into a monthly tracker inspired by bullet journal trackers (examples: one, two, three). However, as I was pressed for time (and at work and a bit lazy and not feeling particularly hands-on creative at the moment), I made a spreadsheet to print off, fold up, and keep in my purse. It isn’t the prettiest, but it will (I hope) get the jobs done! If it works, I’ll make something nicer for September.

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 10.36.53 AM

Other implementation ideas: digital spreadsheet (no printing!), plan your tasks in your agenda/calendar of choice and check them off as you complete them, create a bullet journal tracker (so pretty!)

Rewards System: While this isn’t mandatory (nothing in this post is mandatory), a rewards system could help incentivize and keep you accountable. Use your to-do list or task tracker to set (and accomplish) your goals. Set up rewards for yourself to celebrate all of the amazing things you get done! Make sure your rewards are fairly specific so that you don’t go overboard. (If you’re like me, you’re on a tight budget, and while rewards don’t have to cost money to be worthwhile, it’s good to keep costs in mind.) Also, you don’t need to list a goal/reward for every single task, but it is helpful to do so for the tasks you find particularly challenging to keep up with. Examples:

  • Goal: Do laundry once a week for the entire month. Reward: One new top! (<$20)
  • Goal: Wash face daily for the entire month. Reward: New lipstick!
  • Goal: Gym twice a week for the entire month. Reward: Dessert!
  • Goal: Write 15 blog posts (of original content). Reward: New book! (<$10)

I’m starting my task tracker a little late, but it’s early enough in the month that I can go back and fill in the days I’ve missed. Don’t let the date or the day put you off from starting something! (Whether it’s a task tracker, a new workout routine, kicking a bad habit — go for it!) I’ll update you on how this went at the end of the month.

In the meantime, how do you manage your stress? If anxious, what are your favorite ways to ease that anxiety? Do you like making lists?

Thanks for reading!

Kaiya

18 thoughts on “Managing Stress & Anxiety with a Task Tracker”

  1. I will have to give this a try! My own anxiety has been high for several weeks. I’ve always been itching to try bullet journaling since I found it on Pinterest so many moons ago. πŸ˜„ If you don’t mind my asking, how has it been for you? At least helpful, I hope. Or if you want, how’s the bullet journaling going?

    I like how even though this post is more of a self-explanatory one, your voice and personality shine through. Your blog looks lovely and I can’t wait to check out more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bullet journaling is so fun. It’s hard to keep up with, in my opinion, because it’s very involved. However, things like the “index” setup have become very beneficial for me in other notebooks. πŸ™‚

      My task tracker also became a lot to keep up with. There were upsides and downsides. One downside being I didn’t do it every single day, so I had to go back and think about what I did. An upsides being it made me realize that I need to re-prioritize certain things. πŸ™‚ I may set it up a little differently for next month…

      And thank you so much for the compliments! I’m trying to be helpful and approachable at the same time. x

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hmm…these are good insights to have for my own reference. Thank you for taking the time to reply in-depth! They still make me curious; if I decide to give them a go or try something similar, then I have a sounding board of sorts. 😁

      And no worries, you are approachable! Makes for great, personal blog reading and interacting! (If that makes any sense lol)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a little too perfectionist to actually keep up with a bullet journal, but this a really cool spin on trackers that I can definitely see myself implementing in the future! I’m a huge fan of lists…so this idea is super appealing to me, haha. I’m excited to read your update at the end of the month! Hopefully it works out well for you. πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Thank you! So far, so good — but it’s only been one day! πŸ˜‰

      Bullet journals are so pretty, but I’m not dedicated enough and don’t have enough time to keep up with one every day. I spend more time on the computer, so a spreadsheet was quick and easy! πŸ™‚ And lists are the best!

      Like

  3. You are welcome 😊. Your blog is really awesome and inspiring. You have a great gift within you.Please continue blogging and inspire people around you 😊. And if you can please do visit my blog and let me know about it. It would be really helpful 😊. This is the link to my blog

    http:// authorabhijith.com

    Like

    1. Please do visit my blog Kaiya and let me know your valuable suggestions. It would really mean a lot 😊

      Like

    2. Sorry, but it says that your blog is not available and that you’ve deleted it. 😦 Do you have a different link?

      Edit: Never mind, Abhijith! I’ve found it through your Gravatar. I’ll check it out. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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