Feeling a sense of accomplishment is an important part of our sense of self-worth. Beating up on yourself because you think you could have accomplished more can dent your confidence and self-esteem and leave you feeling depleted at the end of the day. Maybe you could have used the hours in your day more effectively and accomplished more on your to-do list, but you probably accomplished more than you think.
Try these 5 tips to help end your day feeling more accomplished.
1. Break down your goals.
If your goals are too big to accomplish in one day, you are more likely to suffer from feeling unaccomplished because there’s simply no way to get that item crossed off your list quickly enough. If you’re starting the day with the goal of creating a PowerPoint presentation, for example, that might be too large of a goal to get done in one day. Instead, start by identifying all the steps you’ll need to take to reach that goal.
2. Journal your accomplishments.
One of the reasons we tend to feel unaccomplished at the end of the day is because we simply forget all that we’ve done. Make note of the tasks you’ve completed during the day, and those you’ve made progress on. When focusing on learning goals, instead of writing down all the tasks you accomplished, write down the things you know at the end of the day that you didn’t know that morning.
3. Save an easy task for tomorrow
When nearing the end of the day pick an item still on your to-do list that will take no longer than 15 minutes and move it to the top of the next day’s to-do list. Starting the day intentionally with an easy task also helps to get your momentum going for the day and means you don’t have to waste time in the morning thinking about what you’re going to tackle first. You already have a task waiting for you that you know will be easy to check off.
4. Ask for feedback.
Feedback is the best way to get clarification on whether you’re making progress toward a goal. Seek feedback from your boss, coworkers, or clients. Often, we think we aren’t making enough progress, but the people around us believe that we’re killing it. Asking others how they think you’re doing is a great way to get clarity on your progress.
5. Be kind to yourself and re-goal if necessary.
If you find yourself often overwhelmed by the number of tasks still left to do on your to-do list at the end of the day, it’s possible that you need to spread those tasks out over a longer period of time, or spend some time re-examining your goals. If you had to take a day off to care for a sick child, for example, reorganize your goals for the week and move things to the next week. Practice self-compassion and realize that you can modify your goals.