Innovation, adapting to change, and peace of mind depend not on what you see, but how you see it. Here are some tips to help you shorten your to-do list, increase your clarity, and decrease your overwhelm. Let’s look at work. There is so much busyness and “doing” that it has gotten out of control and is causing suffering and illness now.

This chronic state of needing to get stuff done has become a great source of dis-ease, not only in mind but also in the body. I’ve been reflecting on this social ill more deeply recently and have had some insights that I’ve been applying with great results. Of course, we are all still growing, including the so-called gurus.

Before listing some tips, realize ahead of time that work is never done. Free your mind from the concept that you will ever reach a place while here on earth that you have external “stand still.” Change is constant. Once you finish a project or task, there will always be something else. Life evolves. Now, I’m not even going to address how some external voices continuously try to manipulate you into buying things that are really not purposeful or your true heart’s desire. That is a conversation all about creating the perception of lack or something missing in you to get you to “need” something.

These tips listed below are just to suggest that, in order to slow down and shorten your to-do list, you need to create some clarity. So here goes:

Reflection: You can’t avoid this step if you are serious. What is important to you, and why? Why? You should not only feel emotion with this, you should be able to see a tangible mental outcome in your mind’s eye as to how it would play out in your external reality. Is creating a new business or being promoted at the office important to you? How would that show up in the world? Is it truly purposeful for you? Will it help you to cultivate your gifts and talents? How will it impact the world?

Core Values with Heart: Make time to go through a simple process to uncover your heartfelt values and reflect on them as in point one, above. Is freedom important to you? How would this play out in your life at home and at the office? What does it look and feel like?

Purpose: So you want meaning? Fulfillment? You want to make an impact? Start asking yourself and the Universe questions instead of telling. Most people are telling life what they want, and they are not even sure why they want it other than they think they are supposed to, or should, want it. What are you uniquely here to do?

Filter: As you gain clarity from the above steps, filter what you do through the eyes of a purposeful filter. Is it purposeful for you? Or are you trying to please everybody, yet silently resenting the burden? Stop trying to rescue the world or else you may stress yourself out so much that when your “dis-ease” overtakes you, other people will simply find someone else to take your place. This happens all the time. Haven’t you even noticed?

Rest: Constant action-taking is so unnatural. It is NOT nature’s way, and we as a society are way out of balance. There are life cycles. Day is followed by Night. People are born and people die. Winter turns to spring. We can take action AND we need rest and laughter. It’s not about time management as much as it is energy management. Stress damages your immune system and brain cells. Rest, fun and re-creation are vital to peace of mind and adaptability/resilience. By the way, when you are clear about your “why” and are purposeful, you will “in joy” action-taking and doing more. We have to quietly “be” to renew our spirit, emotions, mind, and body.

Lastly, I’d say learn to go with the flow, meaning peace will only be had when we stop trying to control our external world. It’s an inside job. Do what you can and let it go. The Universe knows better than you. And if it happens, “it is”, and the only power you have is how you assign meaning to the situation. This is subjective based on how you look at it.

Reflecting on ancient wisdom, beauty, nature, or whatever feeds your spirit, is energizing and can put things into perspective.

Be excellent at what you do, yet stop trying to get to some magical endpoint where everything will be done.

The key is in the above points. Figure out what is truly soul-felt and purposeful for you, and just say no to what is not. That will probably knock off 50% or more of what is currently on your to-do list in the first place. Hear me: Learn to say no. You have that right, you know.

Understanding what and why that is purposeful for you with clarity will make this task much easier. Reflection is truly powerful and is a skill that we all need to develop more consciously in our business and personal lives. Enjoying the journey is a part of self-mastery.

Author's Bio: 

Valencia Ray, M.D. teaches business owners and corporate leaders how their amazing brain can actually hijack personal power -- not in the abstract, but in the context of integrating business and personal life. Dr. Ray, a board-certified eye surgeon and medical business owner for over 20 years before selling her practice, shares her own life changing process. By sharing her story, she helps others to expand their vision and learn that by living with purpose and confidence, it is possible to have a more integrated, healthier lifestyle – with less struggle, more inner peace and more abundance.

For more information and to contact her regarding dynamic, inspirational keynotes, trainings in collaborative leadership and team building, entrepreneurship and coaching programs, visit her website at