I’m a compulsive list-maker of things to do, which I leave laying around my desk, house drawer, an assortment of electronic files or in random pockets.
As a result, I find old to-do lists all the time that are so dated they’ve become “done” lists. I like these lists even more, because usually enough time has passed to make everything on the list either accomplished or no longer relevant.
I prefer to focus on what I’ve checked off these lists, but it’s nice to know sometimes I didn’t waste my time on tasks that really didn’t need doing. Turns out these old lists actually have value.
It may seem like a checklist of the past defeats the whole purpose of a to-do list. On the contrary, it can help anyone keep moving forward – especially new runners.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t strive to do new things. But any goal needs a foundation, and that’s where the done list helps.
So you don’t believe you can complete a half marathon? Or the next long run seems daunting? Just review your done list to see how you’re building off of each progressively longer run.
Little by little, day by day, week by week, you done list becomes bigger and bigger.
The done list gives you perspective and shows how far you’ve come. Instead of getting bogged down in details you haven’t completed yet, the done list reminds you of the larger picture of your running - and encourages you to keep going.
The beauty of a done list is that after important items like running keep showing up there, you don’t even have to keep adding it to a to-do list. It just becomes an automatic habit that doesn’t need reinforcement from a scribbled note.
So how can you start a “done” list? In essence, any training log is a done list. DailyMile is a done list. A training program is both a to-do list and a done list.
I’ve also started using a new online tool called iDoneThis that syncs with your calendar and sends you daily emails asking what you’ve done today.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go
cross some things off add to my done list.