If you are like me, and I bet you are, you start each day with a list of things you must accomplish. You have your coffee, review your list, and sit down to start the work required to check off items. Then, the phone rings, or maybe it is an email, or a boss or coworker stops by. There is something new that MUST be done immediately. This scenario plays out repeatedly; one after another new urgent things that you must handle hit your desk. You look at your clock and its 3 p.m. and nothing on your list has been done. Perhaps you complete a couple of items before the end of the day. But, your list, for the most part, remains, and many items are carried over until the next day.
Do you end your day reviewing your list and feeling like you failed? You failed to accomplish what you set out for yourself. Despite being organized enough to plan your day, you failed to complete much of what you expected of yourself.
Do not despair; you are not alone. Most people end their days exactly as I described above.
I propose a new list, an accomplishments list. At the end of the day, list the things you did accomplish. Review this new list. Ask yourself the following:
- Did you do things not on you list, but that needed to be done to push toward your goals? If so, perhaps the problem is that you need to be better at making your to do list.
- Did you do things that you could have delegated? Another place you can improve.
- Did you do anything that really was less important than the things on your to do list? Learn to say no, or to add things to a later day’s to do.
Keep a daily accomplishments list. Retain the list and review it occasionally. Some items on the list will be things to know when you are in a review with your leadership, or to add to your resume. I bet that with an accomplishments list you grow at managing your time, and that yo end each work day feeling better about yourself and what you got done.Share with your social networks