View Full Version : Accomplishment Log ?
02-04-2007, 11:30 AM
Does anyone have any type of simple "Accomplishment Log" in place?
Sometimes I get to the end of a day and can't remember what I've accomplished. I do use the "Completed Task" filter and feature explained in the "GTD Using Outlook" paper that DA wrote, so I can look there... but I'm referring more to recording a few significant accomplishments per day that would make me feel like I was actually productive. I've tried making a list in Word - that works I guess, but I was just wondering if anyone else has ever tackled this and had any tips.
02-04-2007, 12:56 PM
When I worked in the corporate world, I kept a weekly list of items done/achieved in my filoxfax.
Was most useful for providing the basses of either the weekly or monthly updates to management that I needed to submit. Plus at review time, it was a great place to refer back too. Made shore that the review reflected the reality of the year rather than the last couple of weeks prior to the review.
As to doing it, make it part of the weekly review.
02-04-2007, 01:55 PM
I put these in my Journal. I have a list of things which I complete to start me off and then freeform.
This is both personnal & professional and the work stuff is just the medium to major achievements or frustrations.
02-04-2007, 03:13 PM
Since I work at home, mostly, I'm able to keep my context lists in a different form. I write each NA on a sticky, which I put into a context-labelled folder. That lets me see how much of each thing I've got to do, how the different contexts are progressing, and other meta-info. It also means that my lists stay clean, and I know there are several people who get put off by lists that turn into blotchy messes as things are crossed off.
As I go along and GTD, I peel off the stickies, so at the end of the day I've got a pile and I just count 'em up.
It's very encouraging: one day last week, I was feeling that I'd faffed around all day and hadn't achieved anything. Then I counted up my stickies, and found I'd done 21 small things to move various projects along. I felt much better after that. :-)
02-04-2007, 03:18 PM
I have an electronic system. If I wanted to see the NAs and Projects I completed, I can always filter my system to look at items marked "complete."
I actually never do that.
But I do do a yearly review based on the book, frequently mentioned on this board, called Your Best Year Yet. Part of the annual review consists of reviewing the previous year's accomplishments. To facilitate that review, I now have a note that I keep in Outlook, called Accomplishments. It is a very subjective list. Nothing like the output of what I would get if I filtered my electronic system for completed projects. Rather, from time to time I list my recent accomplishments that are significant to me. One day, for example, I convinced my son to go hiking up a very rugged ridge. This was not anything I had written down as a NA or project. It's nothing I had planned. It was a spur of the moment thing. But afterwards, I was quite pleased we had done it. It represented a signficant accomplishment, since my son has never shown any prior interest in going hiking anywhere. So, I put it on my Accomplishments list.
Sometimes, I have no accomplishments for a month or two. As I said, it's very subjective.
02-05-2007, 05:19 AM
As part of my weekly review I answer the following questions, writing them into my journal (a text file on my computer):
- What did I achieve this week? What did I do well? What did I
accomplish that I am proud of? How did this week serve to enhance
the quality of my life? What were some of my magic moments -
memories that you will cherish for weeks, months or years to come?
- What did I learn from this week? If I didn't get as much
accomplished as I expected, why not? Were my purposes compelling
enough to drive me to follow through? Or, did I simply have more
RPM Blocks than were realistic for me to really accomplish this week?
I took these questions from Tony Robbins RPM-Planner. They are remarkable resembling the thinking in one of the coresponding Best Year Yet chapters.
02-05-2007, 05:42 AM
I used to track my tasks in Outlook, and this would be the biggest thing I hated about it. Don't get me started...
I too am someone who really needs that sense of accomplishment at the end of the day or I seem to wilt. One thing I've been taught over the years is to make a list of the Six Most Important Things you want to do the next day. I've never been able to narrow it down to six so that idea has never worked for me. However, a quick list of the Six Most Important Things I Accomplished Today does wonders for me. It's short, it's sweet, and it might not even mention the things you spent most of your day on because they might not have been the most important things. Making a simple phone call to get something rolling may have been one of the most important things, and you deserve to feel proud that you did that tiny little thing that was so significant on your overall radar. So that's my suggestion...
02-06-2007, 10:25 AM
I keep a text file that looks like this (forgive the periods; I had to insert them to format this properly):
4 Feb 07........|||..............|
3 Feb 07........||||| |
This is very quick to update and highly visible. Every so often, I input these values into a spreadsheet so I can track trends (average actions per day, etc.). I've been doing this for about a month.
I've done this before, and abandoned it. Sometimes it helps me to get going, but other times it's just another way of pushing myself to move faster (which is dangerous). I suspect it's a useful short-term motivational trick for me.
02-06-2007, 08:20 PM
"Thank You" to all of you who replied to my question. That was my first post, and the replies were quite helpful. Perhaps I'll be able to help someone else on this forum one day.
02-07-2007, 11:57 PM
Yes! I have so many projects going at a time, and so many unexpected tasks, that this has become essential. Since August, I have been keeping a weekly accomplishments list at the end of my Planning file (my GTD system is Word-based). I don't wait till Weekly Review to write them down. I write them down as soon as I notice them, because otherwise I would forget. Sometimes I harvest from the section for the day on the Planning list (which I've started archiving since it's so useful to be able to go back and see on which day I went to the post office and on which day the pain began, etc.).
One important thing is that my accomplishments often have nothing to do with my plans for the day--one reason it's so essential to record them. For instance, I might well not even notice that I sent information on the bagpipe museum to my bagpipe-loving brother-in-law, that I helped my partner draft a difficult email to a client, that I drove my daughter to Planned Parenthood, that I had a good talk on the phone with my sister, that I read over my mindmap about the workshop I'm planning, that I sold two art prints. Because I have a system for keeping track of big projects and my freelance work hours, it's these random things that are even more important.
I highly encourage everybody to do this in some form, and to include the "little," "personal" accomplishments as well as the big work ones. I have eliminated the experience of coming to the end of the day and feeling as if I did nothing.