The “Done” List

Do you write to-do lists? I do. And they can be quite long and sometimes daunting. In my quest to simplify, I’ve learned to pick *few* priorities from my to-do list and still make time to play. Learning to slow down has been essential to reduce my stress levels and prevent me from nose-diving back into burnout. Recently, I tried a different strategy, I wrote a “done” list of things I’d accomplished. (if you prefer video, scroll to the bottom of this post.)

  • Got up
  • Bathroom routine
  • Made a breakfast smoothie
  • Took meds
  • Edited two blog posts

The mindset change that occurred with just that short list of being out of bed for only about an hour and a half was rather surprising.

We spend our time focused on what we need to do, always ahead of us. But how often do we peak back over our shoulder to see the accomplishments we’ve made. We are so hard on ourselves for not completing that to-do list, but we never celebrate how far we’ve come. We don’t give ourselves enough credit.

I decided to track my whole day and I rounded it out with:

  • Let dogs out.
  • Walked around garden.
  • Pulled weeds and tomato suckers.
  • Watered greenhouse.
  • Gave dogs treats.
  • Planned and wrote newsletter.
  • Prepped and ate a late lunch.
  • Continued work on newsletter.
  • Ended workday at 3pm – go play
  • Designed two cards.
  • Designed 8 envelopes.
  • Packaged 20 cards into sleeves.
  • Spray painted several pieces outside.
  • Walked over to appreciate new garden flowers.
  • James done work, end of workday.
  • Ran into town to get groceries.
  • Built backyard fire in pit.
  • Prepped supper.
  • Cooked supper over fire.
  • Enjoyed supper outside until mosquitos made us move inside.
  • Relaxed with some TV, while crocheting.
  • Bedtime routine.
  • Scrolled phone for 20 mins.
  • Read for half an hour.
  • Lights out.

As much as that’s a super full day, what I did with my day is somewhat irrelevant. It’s about how I felt about my day when I could see in writing what all I had fit in. It’s a completely different perspective than looking at what didn’t get accomplished on that to-do list.

And also consider this… from the list above, the only items that were on my to-do list were “edit blog post” and “write newsletter.” So on my to-do list I would have only crossed off two items, when in fact I did plenty with my day that I wouldn’t have otherwise considered.

If you have never written down everything you accomplished in one day, I highly recommend giving it a try. It’s pretty amazing what we don’t give ourselves credit for. How easily we write off our efforts because of a constant drive forward.

Take a day to give yourself a pat on the back. And if it feels fabulous, write a “done” list the next day too, and the next…

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