There is probably no question that the ‘to do list’ is the primary weapon of organization. It finds its way into all manner of planning systems: the post-it note list, a box on a weekly spread, a whiteboard in the kitchen.
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Personally, I like to make my weekend to-do lists on sheets of paper, rather than in my bullet journal because I stick them in my pocket and carry them around while I mark things off, but you could use this method just the same in your bullet journal.
Every Friday night I sit down and figure out exactly what I want to accomplish over the weekend. Sometimes it’s a long list; Sometimes it’s not. But more often than not, it’s a fairly daunting list that I know is going to take up a lot of time. Often the sheer number of things I need to fit into forty-eight hours (on top of eating and sleeping of course) seems insurmountable.
When moments like that occur, I like to sit down and make another list. This new list I like to call a “Done List.”
Essentially, it’s a to-do list of tasks you’ve already completed that day. I include all sorts of things that I’ve accomplished that day, even the little things like taking a shower or making breakfast.
To some, it might seem silly, or even a waste of precious time. But it’s actually a fairly common concept; one of the easiest ways to push forward when you’ve got a long road ahead of you, is to turn around and see how far you’ve come.
‘Done’ lists serve that purpose. When you take the time to appreciate everything you have already accomplished, the tasks ahead of you can seem a little less daunting. It also helps me feel like I’m in the middle of my tasks, rather than at the beginning, which I find especially helpful because starting things has always been harder for me than finishing them.
My challenge to you today is to sit down and think back on the most-productive day you’ve had recently. What did you accomplish? Use that as your gold-standard ‘done’ list and keep it somewhere you can reference when your active list seems impossible.