Making a “Done List”

posted by Andrea | 09/3/2011

I talk A LOT about making to-do lists! 

That’s mainly because I’ve made a to-do list nearly every single day for the last 10+ years… and I know how much more productive and efficient I am when I have a to-do list.

I LOVE to-do lists!


However, since this weekend is the unofficial last weekend of summer, I thought it might be a great time to sit back, relax, and make a “Done List” — you know, a list of everything you’ve accomplished over the last few days, weeks, and months.

You might think I’m totally crazy, but just imagine how great it would feel to write down everything you’ve already done… instead of just adding more to your to-do list!

I’ve written a Done List on several occasions {usually when I’m feeling especially unproductive}. It always makes me feel better about myself, and usually motivates me to get started with the next item on my to-do list.

Things you might put on your Done List:

  • house or yard projects you completed {yup, we had a few of those}
  • chores that are finished
  • errands you completed
  • meals you made
  • vacations you planned
  • gifts you purchased
  • activities you finished
  • books you read
  • work or school accomplishments
  • basically anything you already checked off your to-do list

I know it seems a little silly to “waste” time making a list of things you’ve already done, but I actually think it’s a good habit get into. A Done List gives you perspective and forces you to focus on the positive — the things you’ve already done — and not always dwell on everything you have yet to do.

So with the start of school, the busyness of Fall, and the crazy Holiday season lurking JUST around the corner, take a moment or two this weekend to think back over everything you’ve already accomplished — and then write it down {or at least give yourself a pat on the back!}

Then, get in the habit of writing a Done List at the end of every day, after a particularly busy week, once a month, or just randomly…whenever you need a little boost!

I’m telling you — it works!

Have you ever made a “Done List”?


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  1. Beth


    When my boys were babies, especially after #2, I would often make a “done” list as a more experienced mom had advised. Often this list would include the number of diaper changes, the meals made, fed and cleaned up after, kid activities (books red, coloring done, blocks built), etc. It was really helpful when sleep was at a premium with 2 young little ones to recognize where my time and energy went for the day. The idea behind the advice was to appreciate all the things and time investments that go into your littles. They can be exhausting but so well worth the “investment”. I would even write down “shower” as that usually felt like an accomplishment! 😉


  2. Patty Gardner


    I sure have – usually on those days when my plan for the day goes south for the winter. On those days, I feel like I haven’t been productive since I didn’t get the things done on my list but then when I make a list of everything I did, I see that I got a lot done it just wasn’t what I expected to do. Some days are just like that.


  3. 5 tips to manage your time for the things that really matter | Smart Living Blog


    […] If you’re anything like me, your to-do list is enough to make you downright depressed and stressed. So much to accomplish, so little time, and at the end of the week, it seems like you’ve hardly made a dent. Andrea Dekker has a brilliantly simple solution to that feeling of helplessness: Start keeping a “done” list. Whether its meals you’ve made, chores you’ve finished or books you’ve read, get in the habit of writing them down at the end of each day as a kind of mental pick-me-up. Again, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be amazed when you see all that you’ve accomplished! (Simple Organized Living) […]

  4. Zolane


    I have…every time I make a to do list (typically every day) I add the “done” items that were completed that morning prior to making my “to dos”. Just gives me that little oomph to start the other projects.


  5. cassie


    I have never made a done list, but this sounds like a great idea!