How to use an Achievement List

Hey Peeps! 👋🏼

There comes a time, now and again where we all feel like we don’t understand where our day went.

I’ve been through it a couple of times, and I do not doubt in my mind that I’m going to go through it again.

This feeling hits me, even more, when I have weeks filled with back-to-back meetings.

Where I can’t do much with my day apart from attending those meetings, talking, sharing my input, and closing for the day.

Those days I get to bed and wonder where my day has gone. What I achieved with it.

If this goes on for a long time, it did a certain point, I felt like I didn’t understand my job, my achievements, my contribution to the company and to team.

I’ve tried to go into my day with even more intent by doing my to-do lists but at the end of the day, all I took from it was failure.

Those lists reminded me of all I failed to achieve that day, all the tasks unchecked, and they ended doing more harm than good.

During the day it got the dopamine fixes my brain needs as I cross items off but when it was over I either got a sense of failure for not completing the entire list or a bland feeling of doing the bare minimums when I crossed every item.

I was searching for a feeling of completeness, of a sense of achievement towards the company and to my teams but I wasn’t finding it.

I’ve talked to a bunch of people, from direct reports, teammates, people in other companies and I see that there are so many that have this feeling of a daily lack of accomplishment.

I see people going through the daily motion, from back-to-back meetings, getting more numb by the day.

For me, everything changed when I was running by the river listening to Rob Dial’s Mindset Mentor podcast.

I can’t recall the episode exactly but I remember that it was about morning and night routines to get into a more productive state.

When it came to the night routine one of the things he mentioned was a collection of achievements of the day.

A daily achievement list.

The idea of this list is that it balances out the to-do list. Instead of crossing off, you add to it.

You deliberately write in small, medium, big things that you feel like contributed positively.

I started that same day doing it and what difference it made.

When you write deliberately about the good things you’ve done, you start seeing the glass not half full but overflowing with a sense of delivery, of accomplishment.

Here are some of the things I write on my achievement list:

  • Help to unblock a certain task bringing closure for whoever was waiting for a long time
  • Challenging someone during a 1:1 and this way lighting a spark within them
  • Delivering a key objective
  • Helping someone reach a goal

Your list will be different. Only you know what you are looking for in your day.

Give this a try. See what works for you and what doesn’t. Rewrite the entire approach. Share with others.

The whole idea behind this post is to get you a different way to deal with something so many people are facing.

To me, this is how Impostor Syndrome starts. And if this technique helps you kill it off immediately then you need to start using it asap.

The important thing is that, when you are feeling down, not understanding how you’re providing value to your company, to your team, you have the tools to fight those feelings.

Hope this helps you as much as it helped, as is still helping me.

Originally published at https://aleadersmindset.com on October 29, 2021.

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My goal is to teach every leader who is still starting their journey, what I learned late in mine. 🚀

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