The DONE List

Recently I launched a new to-do list app in the iTunes App Store called priorigami: the art of productivity. The initial product is just a bare-bones MVP designed to test the app and get feedback from users on what works and what doesn’t. Interestingly, the number one requested feature is to add the ability to see completed tasks.

Several articles have been written about the value of keeping an “anti to-do list” or a “done list” as a key motivator and driver of increased productivity. Some people track daily accomplishments and then move on, others keep an active spreadsheet listing everything they have completed. Or, some just focus on their three big goals and track progress against those goals.

Back in 1993, I started keeping a weekly list of achievements. In 2013, I switched to one annual list of major accomplishments. At the start of each new year, I eagerly create my new list and anticipate how it will get filled in over the upcoming 12 months. Every other week or so, I go in and update it.

Here are the categories that I am keeping track of this year:

  • Product Launches
  • Blog Posts
  • Research
  • Books Read
  • Influencer Outreach
  • Networking
  • Training & Development
  • Agreements & Contracts
  • Community Service

Over the years the categories have shifted and morphed based on where I was working and what I was focused on achieving that particular year. The key is to keep track of the things that are most meaningful and important to you in terms of achievement. Think about how you define your own success and how would you measure it.

Not only does the DONE list serve as a motivator, it documents my achievements for future reference. I certainly helped me when I had to write my annual self-assessments. Years later, I have gone back to my lists to confirm key product launch dates. I have been able to quickly find out which training courses or assessments I completed in order to make a recommendation to someone else. I have also gone back to find names of people I had met or networked with so we could reconnect.

These lists have become an incredible historical repository that I find myself referring back to time and time again since as I age, I can no longer just rely on my memory.

TRY THIS OUT:  What did you accomplish today? Write it down. What did you get done this week?  Write it down. How do you feel? Are you amazed by what you were actually able to get done? Or, do you feel you didn’t get enough done? How would you measure your productivity or success based on what you achieved? Use the answers to these questions to help you design a format and a system for your own “Done” list.

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