Lauren Weymouth: If a 'to-do' list is too daunting, create a 'have-done' list instead

Is there anything better than ticking off a to-do list? During times of stress and anxiety, being able to mark a little ‘tick’ next to a ‘to-do’ is extremely satisfying.
But often, in the midst of a crisis, the simple act of writing the list in the first place – especially when it appears to be infinite – can be far too daunting. After all, where do you even begin when the list is longer than the piece of paper you’re writing on?

For me, the best place to start is by writing a ‘have-done’ list instead. Being able to immediately tick off the things you’ve already achieved is the equivalent of patting yourself on the back. Get out of bed. Tick! Make a coffee.Tick! Get dressed. Tick!

We have recently rounded up a list of the key things leaders need to keep on their to-do lists in 2021, but if the thought of adding more to your to-do list feels overwhelming – because let’s face it, you have enough on your plates already – then start by creating your own ‘have done’ list. From skills as basic as working from home to learning how to run a Zoom call, you’ve probably achieved and learned far more than you know this year.

There’s still a lot to do, of course, but isn’t there always? Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work ahead, it’s time to start rewarding ourselves for the work we’ve already achieved. As we set out in our 2020 review, the sector that is leaving 2020 is almost unrecognisable to the one that left 2019.

Even the tiniest of charities have adapted to new technologies in ways they never thought possible. And whilst the largest charities have had to make huge cuts and difficult decisions, they’ve also showcased the ability to find new and unique tools to reach hidden pockets of income.

So, as you leave 2020, take a note of all of the things you’ve accomplished. You’ll probably surprise yourself at just how much you’ve achieved. And once you’ve taken it in, take a step back and remember to rest over the Christmas period. After all, there’s only so much ‘doing’ that can be done in one year.

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