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Lists of lists of lists of lists… they’re great, but sometimes they can get a bit much for even the most enthusiastic of list-makers raises hand sheepishly.

list overwhelm |

My beloved bullet journal is still going strong and has been something of a lifesaver in recent months. As my world was turned upside down and inside out by the loss of my Dad, I found myself with an unbelievable amount of admin to do, and a brain which seemed to have stopped working in shock.

A few months on, my brainpower is slowly returning. This evening I sat down to try. I wanted to make sense of the bujo lists I’ve made in the past few months.

…. Yeah. None of them have any logic, and some of the items on them just make no sense.

And you know your lists are overwhelming when you look at them and feel sick with fear. When you are utterly overwhelmed at how much it looks like you should be doing.

Enter the list purge…

I do this in normal life too but have found it especially useful today. Every few months, I sit down with my bullet journal and a few sheets of normal A4 paper. Then I head up the sheets as follows.

  • Tasks to do immediately
  • Things to do soon
  • Stuff to do one day
  • That which it would be nice to do

Feel free to edit the categories as you wish.

Then I go through the last 3-4 months of my bullet journal bullets. I get EVERYTHING out that still needs doing, onto one of those four sheets of paper.

Really urgent, MUST DO RIGHT NOW jobs go on sticky notes. But use these with caution or you’ll set yourself up for more overwhelm. By really urgent, I don’t mean “do the washing”, or “write a blog post”. I mean things like “pay road tax so I can drive my car without getting arrested tomorrow”. And “buy cat food so my kittens don’t starve from my lack of organisation”.

Consider the major motivational advantages to doing this when you’re feeling stuck and overwhelmed. There will be stuff on the lists that you no longer need to do. Also there will be several things you’ve moved over to new lists and then completed. So you can cross them off (which is oh-so-satisfying).

You’re good to go

your lists are complete. So copy them into your bullet journal on four new pages. Or you can spend time highlighting and prioritising them, depending on your preferences.

I’ll spare you the actual lists, as this time round most of my entries are mainly very dull or rather distressing in nature, but the photo is of my preferred surroundings as I do this. A scented candle is totally necessary for soothing vibes!

How do you deal with lingering lists?

P.S. Fancy your own bullet journal? Find everything you need in our Get Bulleting boxes