Transforming your "To Do" List into a "Ta Done!" List Could Boost Your Productivity

Depression and anxiety can often leave people feeling overwhelmed and stuck at work.  Tasks pile up and the symptoms that often come along with depression and anxiety (fatigue, lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating and making decisions) make it difficult to take the first step of tackling a "to-do list".   You may worry that you won't ever be able to get it all done or that you aren't good enough for the job.   Overwhelm and inferiority are not productive mental states.   Next time you find yourself questioning your ability to manage the task at hand, try shifting your attention in a more positive direction.

Instead of focusing on all of the things that you have to do, try focusing on all of the things that you have already done.  

Before beginning each work day, make a quick list of all the things you accomplished the day before.  

Your list might look something like this:

  • Sent marketing email promoting future training

  • Filmed two sections of training webinar

  • Completed slides for upcoming live training

  • Returned 3 phone calls

Keeping a "Ta Done!" list can benefit you for a number of reasons.

It is encouraging: Working on large projects or ongoing tasks that don't have an end date can make you feel like you aren't getting anywhere.  Keeping a list of things that you have accomplished helps you see that you are taking meaningful steps toward a larger goal.  Instead of starting off the day feeling overwhelmed and stuck, you can look at your list and feel productive and proud.  This is also a great exercise to complete at the end of the day if you often leave the office feeling drained.  The "Ta Done!" list helps you practice gratitude for a job well done.  

It can help you get more done: Keeping a "Ta Done!" list can help you take action throughout the day.  The list puts you in friendly competition with yourself to accomplish more than the day before.  The list transforms productivity into a positive game.  Instead of trudging through a mountain of tasks, your tasks now become items you can add to your list of accomplishments for tomorrow. 

Keeping a larger "Ta Done" list can have a similar effect on your overall career.  If you find yourself feeling down because you are not where you want to be, or you don't think that you have accomplished enough, make a list of what you have already accomplished.  You may be surprised at how good it makes you feel.  

Here is an example of a big picture “Ta Done” list:

  • Finished my degree

  • Landed my first job.

  • Moved to a great city

  • Earned  a promotion

  • Made thanksgiving dinner for my family

  • Bought a car

  • I made a new friend

  • Ran 5 miles 

That is just a small sample of all of the fun, exciting and cool things that you could track.  Many of my clients are shocked at all they have accomplished.   They are amazed that they are making real progress toward some of the big long term goals that they have for themselves.  What are 10 things that you have accomplished so far this year? What about today? Make a list and share it below--- I'd love to celebrate with you!



Hey! I'm Samantha, a professional counselor living and working in Asheville, North Carolina.  I believe that accepting yourself right where you are is the key to having the life you have always wanted.  I designed this site to help you stop fighting with yourself and start treating yourself like a friend.  Want to connect? Come say hello on Instagram or Pinterest, and subscribe to the email list so you never miss a post.