Being stressed in life and lacking efficiency seems to be a common refrain among people everywhere. There are a number of easy hacks to increase efficiency and reduce stress, which when practiced, help you get more organised, efficient and productive. Usually they require some level of discipline and self-control. Hacks that need you to be the bad cop often backfire. It’s hard to always keep your foot down. However, there exist some methods that focus more on celebrating progress. One such practice, which is highly underrated, is the habit of writing done lists.

The list gives you an overview of your tasks and activities. This not just saves time but also reduces the pressure of planning on the last moment. This in turn helps the mind to not stress much.

A done list is basically an inventory of all the things you manage to get done. It’s the exact opposite of a to-do list. By writing these, you keep an account of all the baby steps that lead to bigger things. It is a common mistake to dismiss smaller things that fill out your day. Remember that these small victories build up in the long run.

A list like this acts like a big thumbs up in your face. It constantly reminds you of things that are going good. It makes you feel successful.


The following points explain the surprising benefits of the done list;

To-Do lists can be intimidating

Despite the benefits of preparing to-do lists; waking up to a long list on undone things can be quite overwhelming. Who likes being reminded of unfinished tasks first thing in the morning? That can really mess with your head space. Nobody wants to start the day with negativity.

A better alternative is to put up a done list right next to it. That way, every morning you will also see the things you have managed to accomplish so far. Seeing your feats makes you more confident and feel more capable of achieving the tasks you’ve set for yourself. These are feelings that can propel you to a powerful start to the day.

A reason to reward yourself

If you keep a record of the tasks you finish, attaching your triumphs with some kind of reinforcement will ensure you get more done. Say you’re studying for finals or preparing for a big presentation. It’s easy to lose interest after a few hours of hard work. But with reinforcements, you can trick your mind into doing more work. For every chapter you finish or slide you complete, treat yourself with your favourite song or a minute of standing in the sunshine. The done list can work wonders, much like the merit board school teachers put up in classrooms to encourage good behavior.

A list you’d prefer long

Unlike the to-do list, you want your done list to be as long as possible. A lengthy done list means you’re getting closer to your goals. Imagine that you have an ambitious dream and you’re slowly working your way towards it. Over the course of time, setbacks and difficulties could make you doubt your will to continue. Writing a done list will help ease your tension because you’ll have a clear idea of everything that has been taken care of. You’ll manage to be patient with yourself and strive to add to the list. This almost magical practice has the power to keep you moving forward.

Observe your growth

Only a done list is an honest account of your progress. It tells you how much you’ve accomplished; nothing more, nothing less. When you’re aiming at big goals it’s easy to get lost in the small steps that add up to it. A done list provides a comprehensible report of all the steps you’ve covered. You can use it to analyze your advancement by asking yourself questions like, “What impacted your progress?”, or “What did you do today that you want to remember in the future?”

A done list gives you valuable insight and perspective regarding how you should proceed.

What do you think?