Checklists for challenging times.

In these challenging times, it’s so important to breathe, stay calm, and focus on the things you can control–rather than obsessing about the things you cannot.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try making a checklist.

Checklists are like an extra storage tank for your weary, over-stuffed brain.

Research confirms that making a checklist can help you feel calmer and more focused, and can shift your body on a physiological level. When you check off a completed item, this creates that oh-so-satisfying burst of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps you feel more positive, think clearly, and solve problems creatively.

Personally, I know that making a checklist helps me feel more steady, strong, and grounded during turbulent times. Checklists are good medicine.

A few checklist ideas and downloadable templates for you. (All of these templates are free. Enjoy.)

– Working from home? Here’s a checklist with suggestions on how to set yourself up for a calm, focused, and successful workday.

– Got a bunch of unexpected free time? Maybe a project got cancelled, your shop is temporarily closed, or a trip has been postponed. Instead of panicking, try to use your time purposefully. Here’s a checklist of different ways to use your free time productively–and strengthen your business or career.

– Feeling stuck? A checklist to help you finish a project you’ve started.

– Need to find more clients and line up some work? A checklist full of marketing ideas, including lots of ideas that don’t involve social media. Because social media is optional, not mandatory.

– Tired of endlessly scrolling on your phone? A checklist to help you reduce screen-time, create a healthier relationship with your devices, and create more quiet and space in your day.

– Want a fresh approach for planning your day? Here’s my personal method for creating a Daily Checklist, which I do every single night before bed. (I make tomorrow’s checklist *today* and print it out in advance.)

– Lots more checklist templates here: including a Self-Care Checklist, Workout Checklist, and others.

– You might suspect I have a mild obsession with checklists. You might be right. I wrote an entire book about checklists. The book is available online. You can also find The Checklist Book at your local bookstore, or ask your public library to order it for you.

– Also, while it’s not specifically checklist-related, you might enjoy this too: One Letter Today. A short e-book about the power of sending a handwritten letter, filled with all kinds of letter-writing ideas. Perfect for these stressful times when people yearn to slow down and connect from the heart. Sending–and receiving–snail mail always feels so good.

Stay safe and healthy.

Take good care of yourself.

Make a list. Check things off. One tiny step at a time.