How To Tackle A Monster To-Do List

My life is ran by checklists, due dates, and calendar reminders, and I'm damn proud of it. I've had almost 4 years of perfecting how to keep track of what's due and when, and believe you me when I tell you there are still nights I panic. When I feel overwhelmed, I go into hyperdrive and lock myself into my office until I feel back to normal. Here's what I tackle first and why:

1. Turn off email notifications and turn high energy music on. I like to set the stage and not have any distractions in my way, so emails are put on hold for a couple of hours. And nothing gets me jazzed about being locked in a room like some Beyonce or Skrillex thumping in the background. 

2. Deadlines rule. If something on my to-do list has a hard deadline, I start with those action items first. End of story.

3. Get to the root of the problem. After I knock out the time sensitive stuff, it's time to move onto what's stressing me out. Why am I feeling anxious in the first place? Do I need to revisit a certain timeline? Maybe I need to repack the emergency kit? Whatever it might be, I dedicate a chunk of time to it so I can sleep better at night.

4. Edit, update, repeat. At this point I've probably knocked out a signification portion of my to-do list, yay! What's more gratifying that checking stuff of the list? NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING. But I can't stand a sloppy list so now I have a good reason to run through it again and start from the top.