A recent Fast Company article by Rachel Gillett offered three tips on creating a better to-do list. 1) Break projects into more manageable parts. 2) Tackle the task you hate first. 3) Write a to-done list.
Tip #3 is the one which resonated with me the most.
“Dubbed the “Anti-To-Do List” by Buffer’s Joel Gascoigne, this approach [of creating a done-list] reportedly gives you an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and spurs productivity throughout the week. According to Gascoigne, by writing a separate list of tasks you have accomplished, including ones that weren’t originally on your to-do list, you prevent yourself from feeling “knocked down” by the fact that you’re doing something not on your original list.”
An alternative to the to-done list is simply marking up your existing to-do list to show the progress made. I find that it is both satisfying and motivating to see what has been accomplished and what remains on my list.
Another benefit of having this visible list in my work area is that it makes it very clear to my team members and supervisor what is currently on my plate. Here’s a snapshot of my current whiteboard.