Control Your Procrastination: Track What You DID

To Do List

Something about rigid “To Do” lists fuels my procrastination. Although I’m reasonably productive, a long To Do list for the day drains me of energy before I even get started.

If you suffer from “enervating To Do list syndrome” too, try this. Keep a daily log of what you DID each day. Rather than focusing on my To Do list, and how the tasks multiply endlessly, I focus on what I’ve actually DONE.

As soon as I hit my computer each morning, I create a new Daily Log note in my Journal notebook in Evernote. Whenever I think of it — every hour or so — I note the time, and what I’ve been doing.

This has an interesting effect. I get more done — I complete the tasks on my To Do list, and moreover, I have more energy. That “save me please God” feeling of hopelessness is gone. I’m sure there’s a psychological reason for this. I don’t care what the reason is, I’m just thrilled not to be dominated by my To Do list any longer.

Here’s an interesting article about the social media company Buffer, Buffer: Inside a Completely Transparent Company | Inc.com, where people do something similar:

“We’ve also implemented a daily personal improvement program. To track it we’re using the productivity app IDoneThis: Every day everyone logs what they’ve done, what they’re doing, and what they improved upon.”

The app looks good, but I’m happy to track my daily “dones” in Evernote, because I can jot down thoughts and ideas while I’m reporting on what I did over the past hour or so.

I like their idea of “daily self improvement”. Although I review a week’s worth of logs on Fridays, I hadn’t considered making notes on what I’d like to do better, or more. It’s a clever idea, so I’ll incorporate it.

If your To Do list freaks you out, try putting the focus on what you DID.

photo credit: jessica wilson {jek in the box} via photopin cc

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Copywriter Angela Booth's clients tell her she performs "word magic." Whether she's writing advertising materials, Web content, or ghostwriting for her clients, she's committed to helping them to achieve results, fast. Author of one of the first books about online business, Making The Internet Work For Your Business, Angela's written many business books which have been published by major publishers. She's an enthusiastic self-publisher and book coach.