7 In Motivation/ Self-care/ Writing

46 Lists to Make When Life Gets Overwhelming



I’ve always loved lists.

Have done since I was a teenager and wrote journals full of lists on everything from my favourite songs of the year, my all-time favourite movies, books to read, and my extensive bucket list. Lists were fun!

As I grew older, I turned to lists to get things out of my head.

Be it to-do lists, goals for the year, things to pack, or bills to pay. Writing lists down on paper helped me to dig myself out of many procrastination loops and to decrease the clutter in my head. Lists gave me room to FOCUS and actually get things done.

In my earlier life as a project manager, lists were my saviour. They really helped me to communicate things to other people, resources, and clients, so they all clearly understood where I was coming from and what I wanted!

These days I use lists to plan my wedding, brainstorm writing prompts, collect useful resources, and more. And call me crazy, but I still love making them.

There’s one thing that has never changed, and that’s the fact that lists help me deal with life when it gets overwhelming, because it does! Even for the most organised of us! I’ll be honest with you and say that I’m totally overwhelmed at the moment. I’m also suffering from writer’s block! Yet here I sit writing a post on lists, which includes its very own list! (see what I did there 🙂 ).

So here’s 46 ideas – 46 lists you can make when life gets overwhelming.

Some are just plain fun. Some are serious. Some, well, once you get started you may not be able to stop!

Regardless, when you’re ready to sit down and start ‘listing’, have fun with it. Crack out the coloured pens and a nice notebook just for your lists.

  1. Books you want to read in your lifetime
  2. Books you have read AND loved AND would recommend
  3. Books in series – I read a lot of series and often get lost midway, so keeping lists helps me keep track on what book I’m up to in said series. I also hate reading books out of sequence, so this helps me avoid any spoilers!
  4. Things you are grateful for this week
  5. Things that make you happy
  6. A feel-good playlist. List songs that make you feel good
  7. Things you love about yourself
  8. Things you love about someone else
  9. Your own list of writing or journalling prompts
  10. Self-care ideas
  11. Your travel bucket list – include the places you have been and take pleasure in ticking them off!
  12. Bills to pay and due dates – map out a plan and prioritise those bills baby!
  13. Your to-do list. Get everything out of your head and onto paper!
  14. All of the things you have accomplished this year – so far
  15. Things you have achieved in life – so far
  16. Your happiest memories – so far!
  17. Inspirational quotes
  18. Recipes you want to try
  19. A meal plan for the week – easy meals that are quick to throw together and won’t add to your feeling of overwhelm!
  20. Restaurants and cafes you want to try out
  21. Your all-time fave movies
  22. Movies to watch. Why not include some classics?
  23. Movies that make you laugh
  24. TV series to binge-watch
  25. Your all-time fave songs / bands / singers
  26. Gift ideas for _____
  27. Things you want to learn
  28. Hobbies to take up
  29. A house renovation list
  30. Plan to decrease the clutter. List things to throw out!
  31. A shopping list
  32. Useful advice / words of wisdom for when times get tough
  33. Your fave places and spaces
  34. Your christmas wish list
  35. Things to pack when you go on holiday
  36. Phone numbers and addresses. You’ll thank me the next time you have an issue with / break / lose your phone!
  37. Ideas of things to draw or paint
  38. Questions to ask your doctor the next time to see them
  39. Key dates for the year – birthdays, appointments, concerts, public holidays, holidays, and more
  40. Songs to download or add to your playlist
  41. Appointments you need to make, like checking in with the good old dentist 🙂
  42. Articles to read
  43. Itemise all of your valuable possessions
  44. Who are you favourite people in the wide world?
  45. What are your values and why? This little workbook (it’s free) may help!
  46. Your priorities for … life? The year? The month?

Here’s some tips for your ‘to-do’ lists

  • Set aside a special pen for ticking completed items off your list
  • Buy some pretty stickers and give yourself a sticker for ticking everything off your list.
  • Set yourself a reward for doing everything on your list. It could be a glass of wine, a new top, or a massage!

Call me crazy, but I get immense satisfaction from ticking things off of my lists!

And here’s something special for you – a free printable you can use to make your lists!

And here's something special for you - a free printable you can use to make your lists!

Happy listing!

19 Lists to Make When Life Gets Overwhelming free printable

Before you leave, don’t forget to download your free workbook – there’s lot’s of ideas for lists in it!

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  • Kristen Berryhill
    November 10, 2016 at 4:12 am

    Gotta share this. Love it, thanks!!!

    • Janine Ripper
      November 13, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      Glad you loved it. And thank you!

  • mackenzieglanville
    December 11, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    I am so bad at making lists, even when it comes to blogging I feel so disorganised. It is something I want to work on next year, making lists and being more focussed. I get overwhelmed too often. Hope you are well beautiful xx

    • Janine Ripper
      December 13, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      I swing between the 2. I used to be great at it, these days not so great as I have multiple lists in multiple notebooks. And laptops. And emails. With a new laptop my aim is to get back to basics!

  • Jenn Bryant
    January 8, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Oh the contentness a list of lists gives my soul! <3 <3 <3

  • Links for January – List Mimsy
    January 19, 2017 at 3:29 am

    […] Someone else who likes lists- Maybe I’ll do some of these sometime. […]

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