The Got Done List

Do you ever have days when you look back at your To Do list and only 1 or 2 items are checked off?

Days like that can be frustrating and disappointing. (I know I like to see a lot of crossed off items at the end of the day to feel I ‘did good.’)

Maybe the tasks were large and could be broken into smaller tasks. Maybe the day became hectic and getting the 1 or 2 items done was a feat in itself.

Whatever the reason for only a check or two, it’s okay. Really.

On days like that, you can try this: Sit back for a moment and take a deep breath. Think back on the day and how it played out.

Pick up a pen and paper – or open a new document – or open an online task list.

Write down everything you accomplished — small, medium, and large, business-related and personal.

GotDoneYes, create a Got Done list for the day. (I like to add these items to the bottom of my existing To Do list.)

Then go down the list and mark them off as complete. Because they are, right?

And then…remember the ever-important celebration: Congratulate yourself on all that you did.

It’s funny that when I first started doing something like this (it started with adding tasks I did as I went through my day and crossing them off right away), I felt guilty – or it felt like ‘cheating’.

But, really, it’s your list, items you decided you needed to get done, tasks you DID get done (whether planned ahead of time or not).

So, when a day comes along that doesn’t have many check marks in the ‘done’ column, create a Got Done list and see what happens to your mood. I bet you’ll find inspiration for the rest of the week, too.

Honestly, it’s all about forward momentum. If you’re taking at least one step forward in your business each day, it’ll keep you on track to your ultimate writing goal.

 What do you think about the idea of a Got Done list?

Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. It’s not cheating if you add items to your task list after they are done and mark them off as complete. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook,  Google+, and LinkedIn.

20 thoughts on “The Got Done List

  1. I can really relate to this article. On many occasions, I am very guilty of making to-do lists and only one or two are checked off. The bottom line: I should pay more attention to my to-do list that I normally do.

  2. I need to do this. I constantly feel like I’ve done nothing all day, and my husband has to be like – but you did this! And look at that! What about this other thing? And I realize I just didn’t count those things for some reason.

  3. I really like this approach because what we usually do is make a list and then feel bad about ourselves if we didn’t accomplished what we planned to, as if the list itself is the one and only truth according to which we must measure ourselves. We seem to forget that we are the ones who made the list and that it is supposed to help us be productive. So often the problem is in our to-do listing technique. Continuing with a got-done list at the end of the day, as you proposed, will probably improve the preciseness of tomorrows list. Thanks!

  4. Time spent doing something I chose to do is not time wasted. I think I am going to do a mental one of these every night before I go to sleep. It seems like a great way to feel good.

  5. I love this idea! I, too, am a victim of the ‘didn’t get done blues’…I am also guilty of writing down and immediately checking off items just to make myself feel better. As a new mother of a 14-month old who works from home, I love the idea of honoring the things you did do, instead of chiding yourself for what you didn’t get around to doing.

  6. I can be totally obsessive about what needs to be done and worrying about which are the most significant, urgent, life changing…I suspect my obsession has something to do with a Protestant upbringing; Whatever, the usual methods of setting goals, making lists and prioritising don’t work for me. Yes, looking at what I’ve actually accomplished is far more useful and so is acceptance- sometimes simply accepting what is. Love your blog!

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