Tag Archives: accomplishment

To do list versus I’ve done list

by Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Ever feel like the list of things on your to do list stretches longer than your lifetime? Do these tasks and thoughts overwhelm you to the point where you feel over stressed and overwhelmed? Are you ready to behead the next person who tells you, whether through words or a blog, that this is all your choice? Perhaps it’s time to change your organizational habits.

For instance, do you have a master list of all that you want to accomplish this season? This year? This month?

Do you make a daily list of all that you want to accomplish, crossing out what you get done and adding the undone tasks to the next day’s list?

If your answer to either of these strategies is “no”then perhaps it’s time to give one or both  strategies a try.

But if you have tried either or both and still feel overwhelmed and unsuccessful perhaps it’s time you started counting differently. Instead of making your lists, checking items off when completed and feeling unsuccessful for the one item (closet cleaning perhaps) that remains on your list day after day, month after month, or year after year, why not start making a list of all that you accomplish in a day? The first item on your list could be reading this blog —although I’m suspecting you have already done many things before you got to this item.

There are two distinct advantages to counting differently. First, when you realize all that you actually accomplish and get done in a day, there is no way you can still berate and accuse yourself of failing, being lazy or disorganized. I’m guessing you will be amazed and astounded at your productivity.

Second, you will have an actual black and white accounting of how you spend your time. This data may help you self-evaluate. Perhaps you are spending more time on some trivial yet necessary task without having the necessary time and energy to tackle the big and important items. With this information you may decide to pay someone else to accomplish the important yet trivial task leaving you more time and energy to work on what is really important to you. Or you may want to negotiate swapping a task or two
with a family member or room mate.

Or you may want to add a new and different to do list to your life. Why not consider 10 ways to be creative, or 11 ways to be sillier, or 12 ways to nap more. Then attempt to complete one per day, maybe as a new approach to your to do list.

If your present strategy for accomplishing life’s daily necessities is not working for you, why not consider a change. Your Mental Health & Happiness will improve when you do.