productivity tip: display completed to-do’s

Like many people, we’re always trying to find ways to increase productivity without stressing ourselves out. We’ve discovered that along with the idea of being more productive and in control comes the pressure to accomplish things. I can have the effect of making us “look over the fence at other people’s greener grass” and be too hard on ourselves.

Recently, we’ve taken to periodically take stock of the big things we’ve accomplished over the year, or several years, i.e. the broad picture as an antidote to thinking we’re getting nothing done. Then the other day on Lifehacker we came across the idea of making a DONE wall, where you post all the tiny steps accomplished.

Why not decorate your work space with completed action steps? While we tend to surround ourselves with art and imagery that serves to inspire us in our work, is it more inspiration that we need?…. 

It can be really helpful to put an entire project plan or assignment list up on the wall, and as items are completed, to scratch them off but leave the whole list up so everyone can see how much hard work the team has done. It’s just as easy to do this with your own to-do list and a little space on a cubicle or office wall.

There’s some truth in the practice, though we’d hate all those words in our field of vision; we’d have to put them somewhere where we could look at them when we want to. We also agree with Leo Barbauto over at Zen Habits, who curiously just published a post about NOT tracking everything you’ve done. The gist: done-to-do’s are such a narrow way of looking at life.

We prefer to keep images like this in our field of vision (the great Lucio Fontana approaching a blank canvas):

Lucio Fontana Milano 1964

photo: ugo mulas

What works for you?

via Lifehacker

Related posts: we test drive the pomodoro time management technique
what happens if you say ‘yes, and…’ (instead of ‘no’)?
how to do more in less time: pulse and restx
creative pursuit as deep sea dive (dave eggers)
to do or not to do, that is the question
when nature reminds you to stop what you are doingx

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