When you wake up in the morning and dive into your to-do list—maybe you made it the night before, maybe in the morning, or maybe you make it up on the fly—isn’t it gratifying to cross things off? It provides a sense of closure—of satisfaction—for getting something done. Then you move on to the next thing. It’s a productive approach to make the list and check things off.
But the tendency we can have is to continually look ahead to what we have yet to do, and never really stop, look back, and reflect on the day and say, “Look at all I got done!”
So as writers, as we set out with a goal of writing 500 words or so many pages each day, at the end of that day it’s almost like we press restart and look ahead to the next day rather than taking those few minutes to say, “Hey, I actually got that done!”
Today I recommend you come up with a system to reflect at the end of the day on what you got done, so you can celebrate what’s done!
Productivity expert Claire Burge recommended to me an app called idonethis. The program sends you an email at the end of the day, and you reply to the email, listing what you did, as a way to document what you completed. You can look at a calendar that shows what you completed on any given day. It’s helpful for people who love digital solutions, but you could keep the list just as easily in a journal, notebook or Evernote note. However you go about it, I want you to reflect on what you did, and celebrate what’s done.
Even if you don’t make it all the way through your to-do list and you have to copy things over to the next day, you can still be satisfied at what you got done, and celebrate what’s done.
Listen for the full podcast.
- Claire Burge
- #14: Progress, Not Perfection
- All the Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach podcasts since day one
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It’s January … are you still playing?
This month I’m encouraging everyone—anyone, especially writers and other creatives—to take time out of every day to play.
- #PlayProject Update Week Two
- #PlayProject Update Week One
- Podcast episode #31: Play a Playful Year
- Main Play Project Page (complete with worksheets and inspiring quotes)