One of the biggest challenges that we all face is the steadily increasing number of things that we have to do on a daily basis. There is nothing new about this but many people struggle with a sense of daily frustration simply because they can't get everything done and in all likelihood they never will.
I get the feeling that this sense of frustration is becoming a little more desperate every day. I'm suggesting a simple process that can dramatically change how you feel.
At the end of the day, when you look at your to do list, and start the afternoon "I'm not good enough" session, beating yourself up because you didn't get everything done, try making a new list.
On this list, jot down a few bullet points for each of the following 5 questions?
1. What did I get done today that I'm feeling good about?
Now don't just give them a cursory glance, actually read through the list of things that you were able to cross off and give yourself a pat on the back for getting them done. This might sound kind of silly, but it is amazing how much better you feel at the end of the day when you acknowledge what you did instead of beating yourself up for what you didn't do.
2. Who have I helped today and how did I help them?
Even on the busiest of days, I'm sure there are people who you helped and supported in some way. It might have been as simply as letting someone into a line ahead of you, being extra appreciative of someone who did something for you, doing a favour.
3. What did I learn today?
When we learn we grow and when we grow we feel better about ourselves. Think back on your interactions, meetings, conversations, emails, presentations--everything, and try to figure out what lessons you learned in the course of the day. They might be things about yourself, things about your customers, things about your team, it doesn't really matter a long as you are learning.
4. What am I going to do differently tomorrow?
As you ponder the things you learned during the day, think also about how you will do things differently tomorrow. This might mean doing more of some things, less of others. It might mean deciding to smile more, or be more patient. Or it might mean saying no more often, so that you can actually get more done.
5. Which of my personal qualities that I used today am I most proud of?
Reflect on the day, all of the things you did, and try to identify which of your personal qualities you used the most. Acknowledge this quality. When you acknowledge your positive attributes you use them more, and this in turn makes you feel better about yourself and your life overall.
When you finish your "DONE" list--go home. End the day on a high note, celebrating and acknowledging what you've done, who you've helped, what you've learned, what you will do with what you learned and hopefully appreciating yourself that little bit more.