Generally I tell people that “list” is a four letter word! I find that when people look at a list all they see are the things that they did not get to today. Over the years I’ve had numerous clients and workshop attendees express their frustration with their inability to get the things done that are on their list. They even find themselves adding things to their list that came up during the course of the day just so they can cross them off. Chances are you’ve done the same.
The realities are you get a lot done every day. Just as I recently experienced, you might not be able to see your accomplishments through the fog and chaos of your work world. Instead of looking at your list and seeing what didn’t get done, let’s change the purpose of the list. Start making a list of what you did get done.
Keeping track of all that has been done is one of those times that a list can be very beneficial, incredibly rewarding and very illuminating. You can keep track either in hard copy or electronically. A spiral notebook or steno pad and pencil is a very easy way to track your accomplishments. The advantage to noting things electronically either in Word or in your Outlook calendar is that this information is easily searchable. Pick a time on your Outlook calendar, say 9:00 P.M. (hopefully you won’t have any appointments at that time of day!) and capture all that you’ve done. Don’t make this more complicated than it needs to be.
Once you’ve completed your list take a few moments to reflect on it and to celebrate all that you accomplished. Then take a critical look at these accomplishments and ask yourself “are my top two priorities of the day on this list?” If they are on the list then good job, you stayed focused – congratulations! If those top two accomplishments aren’t there ask yourself why not? What got in the way? Did all of the other accomplishments prevent me from getting to my top priorities? Was I busy being busy? What can I change in how I manage my workload so that I can get to the top two priorities of the day?
Enjoy your “Got-Done List”!