Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The to-do list gets an upgrade

This year I have been trying out a planning tool that I really like. I'm not the first person to come up with this, but several people have liked the idea so I am passing it on to you. It's a to-do list that actually works.*

Basically it's a set of lists. I use Google Docs so I can access my document anywhere and update it easily- that's key. I populate the first list with my goals (professional, personal, short term, long term) and another with my accomplishments. Goals include gaining Twitter followers, writing blog posts, clearing out my studio, and getting an oil change (because for some reason I need the extra motivation for that one). Accomplishments include things like being a guest blogger and having conference proposals accepted but also meeting personal financial goals and writing thank you notes.

I keep adding new goals, making sure to vary short term and long term goals so I don't overwhelm myself. I find I don't mind looking at a big long to-do list if I'm also looking at list of things I did and I'm proud of. And I really like moving stuff from the Goals list to the Accomplishments list.

If you want to take it a step further, this document can serve as a personal archive too. For example, I just used my Accomplishments list to make a year-end summary I'm calling The State of the Margaret. It's a list of things I've done, as well as a few stats (money in the bank, loans paid off, Twitter followers gained, number of conference speaking engagements, etc.). Next year I'll compare my year-end summaries and see how far I've come.

I recommend this to anyone who wants a little personal encouragement for the things you are doing for yourself and your career. It's like a push and a pat on the back at the same time.

*For me. You might like it too.