A great way I find to keep focused, motivated, clear-minded, and in the moment is to work by what I call a “Did” list. Especially on days when my head is noisy with all of the things that need to be done.
Why?, I wonder. Could it be that To-Do lists are often created with the influence our less-effective thinking? … by the dreamer and grandiose-thinking parts of our minds, which are universally present for those of us prone to alcoholism?
If this part of our thinking is directing our daily traffic, are we not potentially setting ourselves up for failure? Are we not following unreliable guidance that has virtually always failed us in the past.?
Can you imagine the glee our unrecovered thinking feels when it has the chance sneak in and “help” us plan our day?
Suffice it to say that To-Do lists have seldom worked effectively for me. So I changed it up and simply began creating Did lists. They are quite simple, I simply start with a blank list and fill in each thing I do as soon as I accomplish it. Not minutes or hours later, but right away. Why? Because this is in the moment. It is real time, and an accurate representation on what IS BEING DONE, not on what I hope to do.
The motivation then becomes to be as efficient and effective in the current project so I can record it on the Did list. I can feel good when I record it, because they are only listed when completed properly and thoroughly.
I am entirely motivated and energized as my list grows. When I finish and record one thing, I then seek for the inspirational nudge to decide what is next. Often I will ask myself, “If I could do only one more thing today, and the day were to suddenly end, but I could look back and say, ‘I’m glad that I at least got that done’, what would that thing be”? Then I shut my mind off and do the first thing that comes to mind.
This is quite a contrast from the traditional strategic approach to planning the day with a to-do list. But frankly, the traditional approach has never been applied with much effectiveness by my still-recovering mind and thinking patterns. Not yet anyway.
So just for today, I keep Did lists. They keep me inspired, in the moment, productive, and satisfied.