It’s entirely too easy to end the day, month, or year feeling like you didn’t do enough. I mean, who hasn’t felt this way before?!
If you’re into time management, you probably have some sort of checklist or daily plan to track your to-do’s.
I have my own process to plan my time, but in 2020 I added a new tool in my time management toolset that I’ve found to boost my level of contentment… and dare I say fulfillment… when I wrap up my days!
Call it whatever you want:
At the end of your day when you’re doing a check-in… as you check those boxes of what you’ve done, go one step further to completely summarize what you accomplished that day in a quick list format.
Once you check off whatever to-do’s you completed from your start of day intentions, add the additional things you tackled that day right onto your to-do list with instant checkmarks.
That one step alone feels amazing! You’re focus instantly shifts from what you didn’t get to to what you did do. #fulfillment
I tend to reset my intentions each month. I have an entire system for this (see here). However you do that for yourself, add on the ridiculously easy step of beginning your planning session with what you’ve completed.
Before you even think about what you want / need to do next in the upcoming month, update your “Completed” list for the year.
I’ll show you how I do this below.
This isn’t a productivity obsession. This is a checks and balances system for how you spend your time.
Utilizing your “Completed” list is the way to measure that your behaviors and actions are, in fact, aligned with your highest values, your purpose, and desires.
You can see where you’re wasting time, unexpected and delightful ways you spontaneously spent your time, time you’ve been intentional, time you’ve been in survival mode, time you defaulted into your comfort zone, etc.
SO. MUCH. INSIGHT.
When your behaviors and actions don’t align with the life you want to live out, no worries. You can shift course.
When everything feels aligned, that’s when you’ll feel a SURGE of fulfillment—no matter how much you didn’t do in the month!
I love calling out one of the most meaningful experiences I had for the month—this helps me feel like I didn’t immerse myself in productivity all month long
I keep my master list for the year in Evernote using their checkboxes all checked. It’s so fun watching this list grow!
You can put anything on this list! Start with anything you want to track to measure if you’re spending “enough” time, too much time, or not enough time by your own standards.
The main thing is: just start.
You’ll figure out what you like as you go. You’ll definitely miss (forget) things too—I certainly did! But having this home base for how you’ve spent your time is true gold.
Before you go, here’s an example of my 2020 year. On the other side of this list, I’ve shared what you can do with this list once you have an entire year-at-a-glace like the one below.
Some links are affiliate links.
Meaningful experience: Donna surprise
Meaningful experiences: Hockey game and my weekend retreat
Meaningful experiences: Meet Courtney & Allison + Coronavirus
Meaningful experiences: Tell the truth about Easter & Santa, Dave home 3 weeks during quarantine
Two meaningful experiences: Kendall’s room makeover, clearing the trails, visit from mom & dad
Two meaningful experiences: Amanda visited
Meaningful experience: My respite
Meaningful experiences: Croft State Park + the kids each hosted their first sleepovers
Meaningful experiences: went to Blake & Jennifer’s wedding & ate alligator, visited mom & dad in Myrtle Beach
Meaningful experiences: PA/DC trip with Stacey, Remy, & Luca and the MI/IN trip for Amanda & Branden’s baby gender reveal (baby girl!!)
Meaningful experiences: Jody visited, first quiet Thanksgiving at home
Meaningful experiences: Christmas in the Smokies, biking with friends, awesome surprise gift from Auntie Deb
2020 was my first year making this list. I look at it now and can see holes—like our many therapy appointments, certain doctor appointments, and other small things I did on the fly and then never noted them in my daily notebook.
All in all, as the year progressed, I got better at keeping this list. I’m confident that you’ll have a similar experience—as with anything new—in that it’ll be a bit rocky at first. Then, one day, it’ll feel innate.
Here’s a few insights I’ve gathered from looking at my 2020 list:
🌟 This list hold quite the contrast to the 100 Things I Noticed in 2020 list. Side by side, you can see two completely different lenses! I think most people see life more through the “Completed” productivity-marked list.
🌟 I’ve done A LOT of back end work on my business this year—including creating new things.
🌟 Because of all the creating and our new lifestyle, some of my core value work on my stories and making the people I care about feel seen has slipped.
🌟 I want to add more of the content I create to this list
🌟 Is August always a “nesting” type of month for me?! Because it certainly was in 2020!
🌟 I want to keep adding things I purchase to this list (or make a separate list for that?).
See? LOTS of insights!
You’ll find your own insights too.
And just in case you’re still not getting that boost of fulfillment I promised, read this from my friend & brilliant, bread-winner momma, Kyla.
2. At the end of each day, record ALL the things you’ve done (because you know it goes beyond what’s on your initial list)
3. Each time you reset your monthly plan, start by adding the previous month’s accomplishments (no matter how big or small) to your “Completed” list (whatever you call it).
4. 🌟🎉 FEEL FULFILLED AF AS YOU WATCH YOUR LIST GROW *KNOWING IT’S IN TOTAL ALIGNMENT WITH YOUR HIGHEST VALUES, PURPOSE, & DESIRES.*
If it’s not in alignment, reset your alignment and actions with this method.
5. At the end of the year, mine your 12 months of accomplishments for insights!
Pretty good idea, right?
Bookmark it by pinning this:Hey Storyteller... Pick one and pass this onto a friend: