We’ve all got them—the errands or other life to-dos that we put on our list of things to do every Monday, and the Monday after that, and the Monday after that, because we just can’t seem to find the time or the energy to do them.

It kicks off a vicious spiral: We feel bad about ourselves, which further impedes our ability to get things done. The result? “Errand paralysis,” a term coined by writer Anne Helen Petersen in an essay about millennial burnout that went viral in 2019.

Why are we so intimidated by such mundane things as going to the post office or returning a pair of shoes?

Part of the problem is the sheer relentlessness of it all: “No sooner have you boxed up the holiday decorations than it’s time to do your taxes. It means you are never actually ‘done,’” says Laura Vanderkam, a productivity expert, and host of the Before Breakfast podcast. It’s like the argument against making your bed: You’ll just have to make it again tomorrow, so why bother?

Another reason life management depletes us so much is that our brain isn’t designed to keep track of that many tasks. “Civilization advances far more quickly than evolution,” points out Phoebe Gavin, a productivity-focused life and career coach to millennials, “which means we essentially have the same brain that cavemen had. All cavemen had to do was find food, water, and a mate and stay away from bears. They did not also have to remember to pick up the dry cleaning on Thursday.”

The trick then is two-fold: Adjusting our mindset and giving our brains an assist. We consulted productivity experts and real people who have figured out how to get life-related things done for how to do just that:

Step 1: Find a Repository for All Your To-Dos

Garvin uses the Todoist app to remember and organize all of her tasks. It’s almost like a second brain. “Every single time I look at it, I say, ‘Oh my gosh I totally forgot I needed to do that thing,’” Garvin says.

Of course, you can use a Google sheet or old-fashioned notebook to keep your list, too—if you do, just be sure to keep your “life to-do list” separate from your “work to-do list,” says Paula Rizzo, author of “Listful Thinking” and “Listful Living.” “Oftentimes personal to-do’s don’t get done because they’re jumbled up with work-related tasks and get overlooked. Keeping the list separate helps you know what needs your attention when you’re off the clock.

Step 2: Designate a Specific Time

It’s helpful to schedule a regular time each week for the quick stuff and each month for things that take longer. To keep life tasks from eating into your prime work hours, Vanderkam suggests picking a time when you’re energy is naturally low. “You don’t need to be on top of your game to pay a bill, order a birthday present, or stop by the dry cleaners. So don’t schedule these tasks during your most productive, creative hours.” Once you have a time, create a recurring appointment in your calendar so you don’t even have to remember when it is (and so you won’t accidentally schedule something else during that time).

Step 3: Consider How Good it Will Feel

Typically, when we’re thinking about doing something administrative, we’re only thinking about how much we don’t want to do it now, and not considering how good we’ll feel after we’ve done it. Michelle Taute, a creative professional in Cincinnati, actively thinks about how her efforts today will benefit her later. “I think about taking care of to-dos as being kind to my future self. If I make soup, for instance, I’ll do a double batch and freeze half for future me.”

Step 4: Up the Enjoyment Factor

These life to-dos typically aren’t much fun on their own, but you can make them more pleasant—have a tasty dinner delivered for the night you work on your taxes, put on dance music while you clean the house, watch your guilty pleasure show while you fold the laundry, or schedule a lunch with a friend for after your mammogram.

Step 5: Get Help

No matter how good you get at scheduling and motivating yourself, there are some things that are just better handled by someone else. “Maybe you’re not meant to learn how to hang a shelf or change a tire,” says Rizzo. Services like Handy, TaskRabbit, and Takl find people who can run your errands for an affordable price, or ask family, barter, or trade-off with friends or neighbors.

There’s just one crucial thing to remember that will help manage your own expectations, Garvin says. “There will always be more things to take care of. As long as you have a system that helps you stay organized, you’ll always be making progress, and that’s what counts.”