TECHNOLOGY HAS PRODUCED a variety of productivity tools, from task boards to to-do lists, from relational databases to outlines. Yet, rather than give users a sense of accomplishment, they can often instill a sense of being overwhelmed, reminding us what we have left to do. Experience Designers should ensure they leave users with a sense of accomplishment

Learning from their experiences, I developed a simple technique to supplement the digital tools that failed to serve them. The “got-done list” is a running log of accomplishments. Kept alongside a traditional “to-do list,” I asked my clients to record the additional things they did, big or smallreview

In his book Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It, Ethan Kross, professor and director of the Emotion and Self Control Lab at the University of Michigan, wrote “Your mood is defined not by what you did but by what you thought about.” Your mood is not defined by what you did, but by what you think about

First, a got-done list helps us capture the unanticipated small wins that can spur progress. “It’s at least as important to keep track of things you got done as it is to keep track of things you have to do. Very often, much of the work we get done in a day wasn’t on the to-do list we had at the start of the day, because it involved solving an unexpected problem or dealing with other work that suddenly became more urgent.”

Step 1: Each morning, think of just one important thing you must do that day. Step 2: Look at your calendar. Note what you have scheduled and figure out when you can complete that most important task Daily Planning

Step 3: Identify and note other things you need to achieve, but keep your to-do short and reasonable. Step 4: As you go about your day, tick off your assignments as you complete them. If you find yourself doing things you did not schedule, write them down and then check them off. Step 5: Every evening, take a moment to add in anything you missed. Relish your small wins.