I have never been good with lists and structures. However, after I quit my job to focus on building my business, I have been struggling to stay focused and yearning for some structure.
I experimented with many to do list apps but none of them seemed right for me. I read all the suggestions about not having too many items on your list so you do not feel discouraged about not getting to all of them, but I just couldn't help putting too many things on my list.
So, I decided to experiment with a done it list rather than a to-do list. I have a notebook where I write down items I do during the day as I complete them. To keep it simple and clean, I start a new day on a new blank page and simply list items as I would have on a to-d0 list but the only difference being I write down after I complete the task. This has been an immense help for me to stay focused and productive. I have been doing this for couple months and so far I have found out that the done it list helps me:
- Easily see what I have achieved in a day/week/month.
- The thought of having an empty done it list at the end of the day motivates me to stay focused.
- Makes me feel less guilty when I take an afternoon off to do whatever I want( I usually put that on the list as well)
- Helps me easily see what tasks or activities I am spending most of my time on and if they align with my goals
- Since I write the list in the order I perform the activities, it helps me understand if I am more productive when I start the day with certain activities versus others.
For a guy who has never been a fan of lists, this is a huge change in the way I work. I feel like I have a more of a free flowing schedule while creating some kind of structure with a done it list. This approach lets me design my day the way I wish while providing a system for feedback and accountability.
I’d love to hear if there are some simple techniques that help you with focus and productivity