How to Make an “I Did” List

  • Do you ever get to the end of the day and feel completely overwhelmed and discouraged because you barely accomplished anything on your to-do list? 
  • Is your mom brain on overdrive because you have too many “tabs open”? 
  • Do you feel like you’re never going to keep up with all the things you WANT to accomplish, let alone the things you HAVE to accomplish?

I went through a season like this a few months ago. Every night as I got ready for bed, I felt extremely discouraged by how little I had accomplished. It seemed like my to-do list got longer and longer. I spent my day attending to the urgent and not the important. I felt like I never got to move ahead with any ideas I had or things I wanted to do that weren’t absolutely necessary.

But to lay my head down on my pillow and think that I had accomplished absolutely nothing was not only a depressing way to end the day, but it was an absolute lie!

The thought occurred to me to think through my day and list out the things I actually DID do. I titled the list “I Did.” This is what my own personal list looked like:

  1. Served 3 meals
  2. Baked macaroni and cheese
  3. Called subscription company and negotiated contract
  4. Updated checkbook
  5. Communicated with my friend re: an upcoming trip
  6. Did the dishes
  7. Put chicken stock in the crockpot
  8. Played Legos with Jaden
  9. Reserved books from the library
  10. Made a schedule for the children’s workers at my church
  11. Referred my husband for a web design job
  12. Lead my MOPS table discussion
  13. Did a load of laundry
  14. Gave the kids a bath
  15. Got snacks for Jaden
  16. Rocked Mayson at naptime
  17. Looked over upcoming blog post ideas and wrote them down
  18. Looked at houses for sale in our desired neighborhood
  19. Read over email from bank lender re: buying a house

I won’t bore you with the mundane details, but I went on to do this on two more occasions. I probably got even more proficient at remembering every little thing because those lists had 32 and 33 items on them! They included things that are just a normal part of life like getting the kids dressed, setting the timer on the coffee pot, wiping down the kitchen counter, etc. 

You know what happened after I did this? I didn’t feel silly or ridiculous! I felt PEACE! No longer could I berate myself for not getting anything done when I could list 33 things I accomplished that day! In fact, that list was way longer than the “to-do” list I had sitting on my kitchen table!

So what’s my point? You ARE accomplishing a lot, Mama! If you’re getting to the end of the day, feeling discouraged because you feel like you’re getting nowhere, I encourage you to sit down and make your own “I Did List”! I hope that, like me, you will experience a change of perspective and a sense of peace about what you ARE accomplishing! Maybe it’s not everything you WANTED to accomplish, but don’t beat yourself up saying, “I got nothing done today!” – because that is simply not true! 

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