Throwaway your to-do-list and welcome in the celebration-list!
Many of us rely on our organisational prowess: sticky notes and to-do lists clutter our workspaces in a bid to stay on top of our ever-growing workloads. But what happens after a project finishes?
Why not celebrate those accomplished tasks - however mundane and seemingly small, and create a celebration-list?
There are numerous benefits to writing down successes, singing your own praises and reveling in past accomplishments. No one else is going to give you a certificate or medal - so do it yourself, It's not arrogance, it's confidence.
Here are just a few reasons to keep a celebration-list:
• It makes us happier: reflecting on past achievements produces serotonin, a chemical in our brain which flows when we feel significant or important.
• It makes you resilient: Focusing on what we have overcome during challenges or difficult periods can positively change the way we remember the past and realise that you can conquer future troubles.
• It motivates us: Being reminded of past successes motivates us to work hard for more accomplishments in the future, thereby producing an ongoing cycle of success and achievement.
• It keeps us focused: Keeping a celebration-list keeps us focused on our actual productivity and what we have achieved and not just how busy we are.
It may sound conceited and attention-hungry, but at the end of a working week I like to e-mail my manager a list of tasks that I have finished and achieved. I'm not sure if she particularly cares. But I do this, firstly, to prove that I haven't squandered my time by just reading Twitter updates and by way of giving myself a massive pat on the back and reminder that I am achieving and have accomplished no matter what has happened that week. A bonus to this is that if you work in an office with annual performance reviews, keeping a celebration-list will yield a large pool of successes to choose from if you have a review meeting, to remind your manager just how great your year was, the proof is in the celebration-list. If you rely on memory alone, chances are that you and your manager would have forgotten about the many amazing things you achieved.
Not only is a working celebration-list useful for our work place wellbeing but a life-success list also produces great benefits. Every New Year I always go through my annual routine of berating myself about the year's missed opportunities and failures. So this year I radically changed this self-depreciating behaviour and spent New Year's Eve creating a celebration tin - wild! Every time I achieve a little success from a job promotion to a kind word from someone I write it down and put it in the tin. So when the 31st December rolls around this year I'll have a list of lovely ripped up pieces of paper to read and remind me of how wonderful my life is!
It really doesn't matter how you do it -- the key is to get your celebration-list out of your head and into print while they are fresh. Keep the list going and make it a habit to look back and acknowledge what you've achieved. Once you make acknowledging and congratulating yourself part of your routine, don't be surprised if your celebration-list becomes just as valuable as your to-do list.