The Power of the “Done” List

by in Productivity Tips

Most people I know have a “To Do” list of some kind. Whether you start each day or week with a set of tasks that you need to accomplish or just write down a few things that you do not want to forget to do, you probably have some kind of checklist or reminder system. The problem with being self-employed and having those types of lists is that the lists just keep getting longer, and that can sometimes be demoralizing. Or worse–you work all day long and never manage to cross a single thing off the list because you got distracted by so many other more pressing responsibilities. By evening you are exhausted and a little resentful of “the list.”

I've mentioned before my incredible Mastermind Group that includes Todd Farmer and Eric Nagel. At some point in the last couple of months we started making “Done” lists instead of just “To Do” lists. (I don't even remember who gets the credit for it, it just started emerging and now we all do it regularly.) We simply keep a Notepad file open throughout the day and add to it everything that we do–personal or business. We even take it a step further and send it to each other so that we can make our group meetings more streamlined and also hold each other accountable. That part isn't even necessary if you are not in a similar group.

So many great things come out of my “Done” lists. First, I'm able to see in any given day just how much I really got done, even if I didn't get much checked off of my “To Do” list. I feel better about my accomplishments for the day, which makes me overall happier with my work. It also helps me to shut down in the evening when I have had a super productive day. Second, the list lets me see where I might be wasting time that would be more productive elsewhere. I don't track what I did down to the minute, but I do add anything to the list that took me more than 10 minutes or so (including keeping track of how many emails are left in my inbox). Lastly, I'm able to look back at lists from week to week to see how my productivity runs. Eric and I both came to some interesting conclusions last week about when we tend to get the most work done and when we start slacking off.

What kind of lists do you use to keep you on track with your business? Do you view checklists as a challenge or an inhibitor? Try out a “Done” list for a week and see what you learn from it!

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About the Author - Tricia Meyer

Tricia Meyer is a mom, blogger, and affiliate who has worked from home since before she had her two daughters. She spends most of her time on her cash back and coupon site, Sunshine Rewards but also does some affiliate marketing consulting and builds niche sites about pop culture topics. You can follow her on twitter @sunshinetricia.

 

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