Maybe you have a report to prepare at work. A birthday party to plan for your child. Or some home repairs to finish. Write down one thing that you want to get done. Then, write down the first thing you will have to do to make progress on that task. Maybe you need to email a coworker to get some information for your report. Or maybe you need to pick a theme for your child’s party. Or maybe you need to pick up some supplies from the hardware store for your home repairs. Whatever it is—write it down.

When you’re finished, see how you feel. Do you feel a bit more relaxed? A little more in control? More motivated to get that task or project started—or finished? It’s easy to feel stressed about all of the items on your to-do list. When you start to feel overwhelmed, take a minute and repeat this exercise. A little time spent thinking through your to-do list and planning your next steps can help focus your mind on the tasks at hand.