How to Juggle Your Massive To-do List (While Dealing With Depression)


Jennifer Van Haitsma

26 August 2019 0 comments
Silhouette of depressed sad woman standing by the lake in cold autumn sunset. Gloomy adult female person looking at water. Loneliness and solitude concept.

How many items are currently on your to-do list? To be completely honest, I probably have more than I can count. I am also living with bipolar disorder. So, how do I manage?

I use a really great organization app called TickTick. It saves my butt so I don’t forget anything in my hectic schedule. I am a mom of two kids four and under, so anything that can help me remember anything gets a gold star in my book.

(Disclaimer: I am not being paid by TickTick, nor do I represent them. I just really love this app!)

Ways I Stay On Top of My To-Do List

I want to share all my tips for using this app to stay organized. It is super simple to use. You can click this link to set it up. Here is what you do:

  • Create an account using your email
  • Download the app on your phone (I am more often on my phone than my laptop, so this is more efficient for me.)
  • Organize your first to-do list!


The key to managing your to-do list when you are overwhelmed by depression or another mental health condition is to prioritize correctly. I will use examples from my real life to-do list as an example.

  1. First on the list is anything pertaining to your health. For me, that is taking medication, going to doctors’ appointments, and exercise. These things are given a “high priority” marker on my TickTick list.
  2. Next on my list is anything pertaining to my children. Do they have play dates? Do they have doctors’ appointments?
  3. After that, I would classify any housework that needs to be done. I truly don’t think a mind can function properly in chaos. A cluttered environment leads to a cluttered mind.
  4. Next, I would put any homework assignments or work-related tasks. For me, not being in school anymore, I would list work for my blog here. I have multiple running projects to make my blog the best it can be. Plus, I also regularly write guest posts for other bloggers. I prioritize them based on whether they have a deadline or not, and how critical they are.
  5. Last is “fluff.” This is anything you would like to get done, but don’t necessarily need to get done.

Healthy expectations

After you prioritize your to-do list, you need to set realistic expectations. As someone who lives with bipolar disorder, I know that it will take me longer than the average person to complete my list. That is just an unfortunate fact of my condition. I will need more frequent breaks and I get more easily frustrated.

The bottom line is: take care of yourself. If you find your “High priority” to-do items seem too overwhelming, re-evaluate them. Are you over-committing yourself? (I am the worst about that.) Are things that seem “High priority” now really that important?

Take the time to really thing about what you can realistically achieve given whatever emotional or physical limitations you have. Remember: having limitations is okay. It is nothing to be ashamed of.

It is possible to stay organized

Whatever your health situation is, it is possible to maintain some level of organization. You may not be able to complete every task you ever dreamed of doing. But with proper prioritization, and with a healthy set of expectations, you can get through your list and get through the day. And if you don’t finish your list? It’s really okay. Be kind to yourself. You deserve at least that.

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