I’ve had a busy few weeks that included a breakup with the guy I’d been dating, hosting Easter, a major work event that took me out of town for the better part of a week, delivering a speech, Mother’s Day, and finally bringing to life my much overthought blog, to name some highlights. So I’ve been struggling with feelings of overwhelm, pretty understandably. But I’ve been shocked with how I’ve heard myself describing this time in my life. Rather than focus on all I’ve accomplished during this time, I’ve focused on how I haven’t cooked myself a meal or done a specific chore in x number of days, and mercilessly torn myself to shreds.
This morning, I read a helpful article about the power of the “done” list. This is a simple concept—keep track of what you actually accomplish. It’s the “glass-half-full” philosophy of productivity. I can’t even tell you how many to-do lists I have, in every area of my life. I have at least three dedicated productivity apps on my phone (Evernote, CARROT, and Remember the Milk) in addition to other phone hacks, a whiteboard at home and work with a list of things I’m supposed to be working on, a paper planner, and the random lists I jot myself. My systems have systems (for example, I’ve adopted a system by which I make a two-column list on the many occasions when I realize I’m overcommitted. Left column labeled “Should Do” and Right column labeled “Want to Do” and I make sure that I strive toward a balance), and every one of them is guilt-inducing in ways that eventually find me parked in front of the TV, auto-eating salty snacks and feeling bad about myself. And it’s not like I don’t understand the merits of keeping track of what you’ve accomplished. I usually get too busy to follow it, but my productivity systems always start out with a way to keep track of how well I’m doing.
But I think the done list is a tool for the times I’m in now, when I look at all there is to be done and feel like I can’t even make a dent. So this week’s done list includes:
- Caught up laundry and put everything away
- Finally mailed the great-niece’s birthday package
- Planted seeds I’ve been wanting to plant for weeks
- Made it to Toastmasters on a day when I could not have wanted to get up less
- Started a blog and have written in it every day (far surpassing my own expectations)
- Worked out twice when I got the unexpected opportunity
- Started a done list…
What’s on your done list?