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Tip Of The Month: Write A Ta-Da List

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How do you feel when you get to the end of the day? Frazzled, frustrated or guilty that you didn't get more done? Read on! This month's tip is for you.

I'm often struck by how many of us - particularly high achievers - give ourselves a hard time because we didn't do All The Things, even when we've had a full, focussed day. We may have done 90% of what we'd intended, but we choose to fixate on the 10% that didn't happen. 

Let's imagine that two people, Ermintrude and Florence, spend a day in exactly the same way. Their to-do lists are the same and by 6pm they've both achieved the same amount.

Ermintrude ends the day feeling pleasantly tired and satisfied with the work she's done. She's happy to shut down her computer, chill out and relax with her family before getting a good night's sleep. Florence, on the other hand, can't stop thinking about everything that's still left to do. She finds it hard to switch off, returning to her computer a few times during the evening. But she's so frazzled that she makes very little progress.

If I asked Ermintrude if she’d had a productive day, she’d say yes. But Florence? Berating herself for not doing more, her answer would be no. And yet they both did exactly the same amount of work.

If you often feel like Florence, the good news is that this month’s tip can help by forcing ... ahem ... gently encouraging you to shift your perspective. 

Write a daily Ta-da List

If you fancy flexing your positivity muscles, have a go at writing a daily Ta-da List for a week or two. 

Here's how...

At the end of the day put aside your to-do list and anything left undone, and make a list of everything you've achieved that day. Allow yourself to bask in the glow of your own fabulousness. Give yourself credit. Focus on the positives, even if you feel you've had a bad day. 

For instance, "took a nap when I was too exhausted to concentrate" is an achievement not a failure, and the best thing you could have done for yourself and your productivity at the time.

"Completed rough draft of blog post" is an achievement not a failure, even if your intention had been to finish the whole thing. You still took a step in the right direction, so celebrate that instead of criticising yourself for not meeting your (possibly unrealistic?) expectations.

Notice how it feels to acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments, however small. If it helps you feel more positive and productive, you might make it a regular part of your evening routine. Be like Ermintrude: feel good about what you've achieved, switch off and relax, ready for whatever new adventure awaits tomorrow!

Will you be giving this a go? If you’ve tried writing a Ta-da List before, how did it work for you? Let me know in the comments below; I always love hearing from you!

 

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