Do vs. Done Lists: Jot Down Your Small Wins to Amplify Success

To-Do lists are great tools for productivity, but only looking at what you have to do  can increase stress or anxiety and cloud creative thought.

The solution? Keep a done list to log what you’ve accomplished!


It’s interesting to note that according to research, having a sense of making progress with work that matters to us is the most influential factor in maximizing long-term creative output, positive emotions, and motivation. The problem is, for some of us, focusing on what’s next (for example: our to-do lists) means we skate right past our wins, no matter how big or small they are. How do we train ourselves, over time, to notice progress? We already keep a to-do list. Why not add a done list?

A done list is a log of the tasks you’ve completed. Keeping a done list has the power to fortify your motivation, and heighten positive emotions like joy and pride. When we reflect on progress, we practically metabolize it. Jot down completed tasks, and view them as “wins,” or progress towards your final goal(s), and you can externalize and recognize them.”

Keeping a done list in addition to your to-do list is a quick and simple way to increase success and well-being. How do you create these lists in a way that fits your needs? Here are some approaches to try:

  • Every Friday, set aside 10 minutes to jot down your wins for the week.
  • Keep a done list for each project you work on.
  • Encourage any teams you manage or work with to periodically discuss progress.

The done list means that we can create motivation no matter where we find ourselves or what’s happening around us.


We got this from the Evernote Blog, check them out for more!

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