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Does Your To-Do List Run Your
Life? Get Rid Of The Mental Static

By Ken Budka
Voice Actor

Click below to hear the inspiring audio version of this article, read by the author ...

Most people I talk with have a list of projects and things to do that keeps them constantly busy. I am definitely no exception.

This process has become second nature to me, and I’ve become quite good at playing the game of being organized and on top of things.

Having a to-do list provides a regular sense of accomplishment – crossing-off items and checking-off tasks … it makes me feel as if I’m making progress.

But at the same time, the list also keeps a certain level of stress revving in the background; never quite accomplishing everything because I have so much to do.

I’m working from sun up to sun down. It can’t be helped.


In most cases, if we are being truly honest with ourselves, our lists are often elaborate excuses to not live our lives fully, distracting us from our true purpose.

That’s why I have the list. That’s why we all have the list - it keeps us from looking too deeply within ourselves at the way we are living our lives and running our businesses.

It also helps to justify putting off our dreams and brilliant ideas because we have just one more thing to do.


Over the past few years, I have made great strides in building my voice over business by changing how I look at things.

I’m working on finding peace in each moment and not thinking too much about what I should be doing, over here and over there.

I am also getting better at not looking at things as positive or negative, good or bad, right or wrong.

This is especially helpful when recording auditions. Make some choices, get behind them, let ‘r rip, then move on.

Without all of this mental static, I am recording fewer takes and editing less.


One of my best suggestions is discovering what’s really important to you, where your passion lies and becoming an expert in that area.

Instead of being all over the board with your efforts and offerings, focus on being real and being honest in a specific niche.

When you voice a program from a place of true passion, it’s not acting. It’s genuine.

That’s extremely powerful in the voice over world and on any stage.


When you deliver from this place, it transcends any contrived approach or practiced technique.

The resulting track will resonate that special magic that is difficult to describe, yet listeners will feel it and the client will know it the moment they hear it.

Reach people at this level consistently and you’ll always be in demand.

As an added bonus you’ll enjoy peace and harmony within yourself.


Our distractions and excuses can be very powerful. After all, we’ve spent much of our lives mastering and defending them.

But there is hope in knowing we can make room for our dreams on this list, too.

Too often we look for recipes and formulas to solve problems and address life’s challenges. Talk about adding steps to the list!

Put the list aside and focus on one area of your business that gets you fired up, and go and do that every day, with all of your heart.


Ken Budka's purpose is to use his curiosity and creativity to assist and guide others to follow their heart, do what they love and share their gift with the world in a positive way. He specializes in marketing, educational and industrial narration.


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Comments (5)
Paul Bellantoni
2/17/2012 at 1:53 PM
Great article! Thanks!

I have been a slave to my lists for so long (and now there are digital lists, not just physical ones!)

It seems the path of focus and simplification is never ending...thanks for the reminder!

Ken Budka
2/17/2012 at 10:39 AM
Thanks to everyone for taking a minute to comment on this article and share your experiences with this topic. All feedback is welcome and valuable and your time and effort is much appreciated. Have an outstanding weekend!
Maxine Lennon
2/17/2012 at 8:52 AM
Loved this, Ken - spoke volumes to me - sometimes bombarded by social media fries the brain and pushes us toward those endless lists - I think of the lists as reminders rather than 'to do' points - rests easier and allows me to get on with the important stuff - I've also found the 'just get on with it' recording & editing much more rewarding...thanks, Ken.
2/16/2012 at 7:49 PM
Somewhere, back in the 1930's, the CEO of a steel company was lunching with a systems consultant. The CEO asked, "Tell me ONE thing I could have my managers do that would positively affect their work." The consultant said, "Tell them to list ten...just ten things to be done today. When all ten are done, go home." His theory was that if you get thru all ten...voila! Good day. If you don't get thru all ten, you wouldn't have done any better without a list! It became the management-standard in the steel industry.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must cross one more thing off my list today. Jay.
Roy Wells
2/16/2012 at 8:01 AM
I liked your article and your way of thinking, Ken. I'm trying to get into that same mode of thinking and acting on how I conduct my life and my business.
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