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18 Apr

A pat on the back for the downhearted


Date: 2017-04-18 11:15 Comments: 0 st

Some days are just so busy. You work and work, and suddenly the workday is over. Suddenly it is Friday again. And before you know it, it is time for a holiday.

The intense workdays turn into a blur over longer periods of time. What did you really accomplish and do? Apparently a lot, but when trying to recollect what, you turn out blank. Yet you are exhausted.

At times like these it is easy to feel downhearted and discouraged. We have been working so hard, but cannot clearly and easily see the progress we have made. It feels as if the work never ends. Monday, Friday, Monday, Friday…

Make your accomplishments visible
In times like these we would feel better if we could clearly see how far we have actually gotten and what we have accomplished without having to remember all the things we have done. Looking in the rearview-mirror and acknowledging everything we have done is like checking the task off our list all over. Perhaps the excitement of completion will not be there this time, but it will still feel great to be reminded of what you have done and see the progress you have made.

Visual varieties
This is exactly why you should figure out the best way for you to visualize you recent accomplishments. Depending on the format you keep your to-do-tasks in, you could for instance:

  • Click on ”Display completed tasks” in your digital to-do-list (for instance in Outlook’s tasks-function).

  • Keep a small skewer on your desk where you impale PostIts (on which you have written one task each) with completed tasks one by one as you complete them.

  • My mentee Frida placed a bowl on her desk in which she put all the completed and crumpled PostIt notes with tasks. She thoroughly enjoyed seeing the bowl fill up every week.

  • Draw a line representing how far you feel you have gotten during the day on a sheet of paper or on a whiteboard. Every day you add onto the line, and eventually you see how the line gets longer and longer.

  • Cross tasks off your to-do-notepad with a pen that has a new color for every week, and thereby make it easy to see what you have accomplished this particular week. Perhaps alternating between four different colors is enough.

  • Or, do something else that suits you better.

What matters is that you quickly and easily can see (or physically feel) how much you have accomplished even if you at first thought did not remember just how much.

If you want to, do this

  1. Take out your to-do-list right now and take a look back at the past few months.

  2. Make note of all the things you have completed and enjoy that you do not have to do these things again.

  3. If looking in your to-do-rearview mirror felt good and you think you might need to do it again from time to time, then add this to your Friday-routine so that you take a few minutes to skim through the week that passed and everything you have finished on your to-do-list every week.

Or, do a review of your accomplishments whenever you feel down and out, discouraged and downhearted.

Small triumphs become great ones in the long-run
If you make the effort to make it clear to yourself what you have accomplished and done while working so hard, you will realize that you have done more than you initially felt you had. You will for instance be reminded of phone calls you had forgotten you have made, and can again be glad you have them behind you. The moments of recalling everything we have done so far turn into the small victorious moments which are so important to us being comfortable, happy and at ease in our inner working-environment. You give yourself a symbolic pat on the back and can give yourself a silent (or loud) ”Well done!”.

What is your method?
How do you make it clear to yourself that you have accomplished more in the last few days than you recall at first glance? Comment and tell us. 

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