Have you ever added things that you had already done or finished to your to-do list just so that you could cross them off? I took this idea and took it to the extreme. And it has worked in a really weird way.

So here’s what I did. My typical to-do lists have evolved from those cheesy planners, to journals, to notebooks, to post its, to Google Calendar, and then back to notebooks. Instead of actually getting things done, I ended up getting stressed out about not finishing it and then would quit doing my to-do lists. It was a vicious cycle, but it ended when I thought that maybe it would be a good idea to put “make to-do list” on my to-do list.

The New “Did” List

Instead of having a to-do list, I made a “did” list. What have I actually done? So I took a notebook, put “Today” on top with the date next to it, and wrote down everything that I did that day that pushed me closer to my goal.

The goals could be literally anything, like for me is to earn from websites, I have to lose some weight, and some other random stuff like setting up my accounting software. Some of the things on my list used to be “homepage for Cov Digital” or “checked out Quickbooks, Freshbooks, and Wave” for accounting.

Before I knew it, my lists got bigger and the stress got smaller. Awesome!

Since this was working for me and I got more done, I decided to put post its on the wall so now I look at it every day without the issue of it screwing up my day like my to-do list used to. But now, how do I remember what I’m actually supposed to do? What about deadlines?

Managing My Deadlines

Deadlines suck, but I still keep them with a slight change to how I get reminded of them. I found a calendar online and printed it out, and just wrote down what’s due and when. For bigger projects like web designs, it gets broken down into the milestones, with the date.

My “did” list still does a better job at pushing me to do meet the deadline that a to-do list ever did.

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