Jason Hietbrink

5 Steps to Break Free from Your Impossible “To-Do” List

5 Steps to Break Free from Your Impossible “To-Do” List

  • You pride yourself on being efficient with your time.
  • You have a high capacity to get a lot done and a motor that if you let it, can keep going long after most people have called it quits for the day.
  • You’re the queen/king of “to do lists” and checking stuff off your list.
  • Yet, you always have more on your plate than you can ever accomplish.
  • You have 40+ items on your list of “to do’s” and most of them feel URGENT!
  • Each day you pull up your list and start pushing that boulder up the mountain, checking off as many things as you can get done today.
  • But then tomorrow, the list replenishes itself. And no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to break free from this impossible, urgent, and important list of to-dos.

And worst of all… many of the MOST important items on that list have been on there for MONTHS … some even YEARS. They keep getting pushed to tomorrow, next week, next month, or next quarter, because something more urgent pops up in their place.

It’s overwhelming; sometimes paralyzingly so.

But it’s the life of an entrepreneur/leader, right?

Sound familiar?

This is a problem I know all too well. And many of my clients used to struggle with it too, until I gave them a powerful process to help them break free from this seemingly impossible list.


I recently challenged a client on this very topic in a recent coaching session. There was a huge issue with a supplier that he was convinced only he could handle. The stakes were high and he couldn’t afford someone mismanaging it.

After going through this exercise together he courageously left a voicemail for one of his team members and by mid-afternoon the problem was solved WITHOUT his involvement.

5 Steps to Free Yourself From this Problem!

#1 – Get it All Out

If you haven’t yet, write it all out. Get the list of things out of your head and onto paper.

#2 – Ask Yourself “Am I the ONLY person who can do this task/project?”

Look at each individual thing on that list and ask yourself this question. No doubt, immediately your brain is going to respond back with: “yes, of course I am.”


If you have no one on your team because you’re a solopreneur, then skip to #4.

Challenge that thought. “Am I absolutely certain that I am the ONLY one who can do this? If I were incapacitated for a week but these things still needed to get done, how would I ensure they were accomplished?” See if you can force yourself to find a way to empower someone else to do it.

Of course, we tell ourselves that no one else knows the details the way we do, etc…… but you CAN leave a voice text, voicemail, engage in a quick conversation, or send a short video:

  • Explaining the situation,
  • Telling your team member the outcome you want,
  • Giving a couple of thoughts on how they might go about handling the situation.

#4 – Write your initials next to the items that truly ONLY you can do.

Look at the list with your initials by it and ask:

“If I was only ALLOWED to do 3-5 of these items over the next 1-2 weeks, which    3-5 would make the most significant impact on my business?”

The timeline for accomplishing those tasks is irrelevant. It might be that morning; it could take that month. Timing obviously depends on how large of a “to do” each item is.

The key here is that you’re focusing yourself on ONLY the items YOU can do and you’re centering your energy toward ONLY those that make the biggest difference in your organization.

#5 – Put a plan in place to get those 3-5 items done & Rinse & Repeat this process every 2-4 weeks so the list doesn’t ever become that big again!


You don’t have to be held prisoner to your impossible list of to-dos. There is a way out. It starts by challenging the belief you have that it’s all on your shoulders to get it done and choosing to prioritize only your most important items.

Stop reviewing the list. It doesn’t own you. It’s YOUR list. Take charge and act efficiently!

Step 3

Level Up

If we decide to move forward into a coaching relationship, Together, we’ll create a custom coaching plan to help you reach your goals in your business and your life. 

Step 2

Schedule a Breakthrough Session

We’ll do a free, 90-minute coaching call to define your goals, set a vision for the future, and deepen your commitment to that vision.