How To Get Motivated Beyond The (Sacred) To Do List

For years I’ve written the Sacred To Do List. I swear by them. If I don’t know what I need to do, then how will I do it?

But somehow the Sacred To Do List always leaves me wanting more.

I find myself adding little, extra steps – even things I’ve already done, just so I can check them off.

That was until I discovered the DID IT! List.

Maybe it exists, or maybe I invented it. Really, it was a solution to my problem: I never feel like I’ve done enough, no matter how checked-off my To Do List is or how many hours I log. I decided that I would spend a week without the Sacred To Do List, and in its place install the DID IT! List.

I set up some boundaries, and suggest you do the same. Since the To Do List in question relates to my writing/art/publishing goals, I decided to include the goal at the top: GET AN AGENT/GET THE DEALS. Then, I added a space to track the number of social media posts I made for the week (NOT personal posts, but business related) and a space to track how many times I woke up early to get stuff done. The rest of the page was simply a running record of what I did – ANYTHING connected to my goal – and next to the item, the date I did it.

I forget, after a busy and long day with a full time job and a house full of babies, just how much I do. This was eye opening. It not only allowed me to reflect on just how much I do, and to smack myself in the face for feeling so unproductive when I clearly am working my tail off, but it was motivation each day to be able to add to it. I WANTED to fill that page, and that meant I was getting to small tasks that I typically put off or think, “Nah, maybe next week …”

Now, I set up the Sacred To Do List with the things I feel I must get done. It’s not massive, and it’s not highly detailed – only the things I want to tackle each week. Then, I fill in the DID IT! List with every little thing I’ve done in service of the big goal, and the items on the Sacred To Do List.

For example:

TO DO: Revise the last picture book manuscript.

DID IT! LIST: Revised last picture book manuscript; sent for critique; reviewed critique and logged any changes I loved or hated in notebook; made some revisions; sketched some ideas for the manuscript; updated file to include every revision to date; discussed at length with critique partner.

All of that was part of the revision. It fits nicely into the phrase “revise the last picture book manuscript” … but I did so much more. I deserve to acknowledge that.

If you try it out, let me know how it works!

(Now, I’m off to add “post new blog article” to my DID IT! List!)

*UPDATE* I’ve added downloadable lists for you to use!

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