Tuesday Thoughts: The 'Already Done' List

by - 08:00

I have a love/hate relationship with To-Do lists. As well-intentioned as I am, I can sometimes be a bit over ambitious with what I can plan for one day and ending the day with an unfinished To-Do list left me feeling unaccomplished and anxious; like I somehow was failing because I wasn't completing the things I'd set myself to do. 

Sometimes I write a To-Do list and work my way studiously through every task I've written. Most of the time I just pick the things that I can actually be bothered to do and try to ignore the other things. I mean, who would rather pick 'Sort Out Wardrobe' over 'Bake Chocolate Muffins'? And I'm sure I'm not the only one who would write things I'd already done on the list, just to tick them off.

And that actually brings me on to the concept I wanted to talk about today. It's one that I've been practising a lot lately and it's doing wonders both for my sense of accomplishment and my desire to get tasks done: instead of writing a list of what I need to do at the beginning of the day, I write a list of what I have done at the end of the day.

Writing down every task that you achieved in a day (no matter how small) is really satisfying as you can see all the things you managed to get done and prove to yourself that you actually can be productive. I think we can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get a lot of things done, even if the tasks we set ourselves aren't realisable in the time frame. 

Of course, sometimes, we'll need to write things down to make sure we don't forget anything but while I think it's good to want to get a lot done it can sometimes have a negative effect on our self-esteem, kind of like we've set ourselves up to fail. 

By creating an 'Already Done' list, I've found that I feel much more proud of myself and have more motivation throughout the day as I want to be able to add more things to the last, rather than strike my way through them as the day slogs on. 

I think part of this concept working so well for me is down to my tendency to take things a bit too seriously and care maybe a little too much about how well I achieve tasks; a to-do list, no matter how ideal it may seem, can sometimes be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing for me and will actually make me want to do none of the things on it!

Do you find that To-Do lists work well for you? Or would an Already Done list work better?

Stay inspired,

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