How to Write a Daily “Done” List


With our busy lives being ruled by never-ending to-do lists, it’s hard to feel a sense of satisfaction when completing one task so that another can take its place. This is where a “done” list (from this article) containing everything you have completed comes into action. “Writing down what you get done focuses you on accomplishments and progress. You use your history to bring you forward,”.  By writing a “done” list, we get a sense of accomplishment which leads to motivation. Studies have shown that making headway on meaningful work brightens a person’s inner work life and boosts long-term progress.

The greatest thing about a done list is that it can capture much more of your daily activities than any to-do list can. All of the meeting progress, phone calls and emails that lead to decisions or prompt immediate action can be added to your done list. It’s perfect for those days when you’re running around all day, talking to people, making calls, responding to e-mails and filling out paperwork, and you get home and you’re completely exhausted and you say to yourself, ‘What … did I actually get done today?’.

A done list can be completed individually or in teams and tasks can be marked one-by-one or all at once. However, the most important part of the done list is the reflection. By keeping just a running list, you don’t get a higher-level understanding of what you have accomplished.

Business Man With Checkboxes

Here is what you should think about during you reflection:

1. What did I get done today?

This can include not only large tasks but all of the small ones as well.

2. What did I make progress on today?

Even on the most frustrating days, there is always something that has been made progress on.

3. What stood out today and how did it make me feel?

Our emotions get left out of discussions on productivity, so we want to add them to the reflection as we can start to see trends in what actions link to certain emotions.

4. What did I do today that I especially want to remember tomorrow?

This is great for achieving goals and making progress.

5. How can I turn negatives into progress tomorrow?

We all encounter setbacks and errors, so it is important for us to learn from these and look at them as experience rather than negativity.

6. What good have I done today?

This question should brush away negative feelings and leave you feeling positive about what you have accomplished.

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