Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Accomplishment List" vs "To Do List"

I have a lot to get done today.  In fact, it seems lately that I have a lot to get done everyday!  I have found that in the past if I write myself a "To Do List"for the day, it just sets me up for complete and utter  failure.  At night when the kids are finally in bed and I sit down for a second to rest, I realize that I didn't do one thing on that list today.  The floors weren't mopped and vacuumed, kitchen wasn't cleaned up from dinner, or any of the meals for the day, laundry was not put away, kids are still in their rooms doing homework at 9:30 at night, and that pile of papers has yet to be filed! Then that voice in my head screams out, "WHAT DID I DO TODAY? What?  It's been a whole day and I didn't get anything done? What kind of wife and mother am I? " Then all the frustration sets in and I start getting either mad, depressed, sad, or  most of the time, all of the above.  So I ask, are all these feelings of inadequacies of the day worth a stupid little "To Do List"? I say BIG FAT..... NO!

The solution? To make an "Accomplishment List".  So here's how it works.  I have a little notebook, I write today's date on a page, then start with #1.  Whenever I do something, anything at all, I write it down.  For example, here is today's A-List:

A-List 9/9/10
1)  finished towels
2)  emptied trash for Mason
3)  made bed & picked up room
4)  got ready! It took me until 10:15am
5)  ate breakfast @11:00am, girls had 2nd breakfast
6)  scooped dog poop and picked up trash in the yard
7)  peeled a lot of peaches!
8)  groomed a dog
9)  packed Mase for the hunt
10)  let girls finger paint w/ choc. pudding & then cleaned up that mess. can you just picture that mess?
11)  made lunch & dinner
12)  helped Hayes with her math homework.  Took a couple hours but figured it out. This one is huge!  I'm terrible at math!
13)  bathed kids, cleaned up room, said prayers, put kids to bed
14)  bottled my peaches
15)  Blogged!

Are you overwhelmed at how much I accomplished today?  This isn't even all of it.  This is just the stuff I wrote down.  Sitting down thinking about how my day went, I'm remembering things that should have made the list but never would have been on my "To Do List".  Things like my girls and I dancing for an hour, watching a cartoon together, playing princess and the evil tiger, petting and cuddling our new puppies, reading stories, changing a few big girl accidents (potty training, so FUN), and the list goes on and on. 
Having the A-List, also helps me answer the "o-so-loved" question that every husband asks when they come home from work.  "So Kenz, what did you do today?"  This is when I excuse myself and go get my A-List and start at #1 baby!  A quarter of the way through it you'll see his expression of regret for even asking that beautiful question.  So you see, instead of the negative response I usually give like, " your guess is as good as mine", or "what, you can't tell?" It's much more positive and with cliff notes to help get you through it.

The other good to the A-List is that I'm not being so hard on myself, and seeing the simple yet more important accomplishments of everyday life that the TD-List wouldn't let me reap the benefits from.  Life is what I make it to be, and I choose POSITIVE over the negative, that can creep in so easy if I let.
P.S.    That A- list was totally done with my hubby being gone since Tuesday for meetings, and now going hunting until Saturday. YEAH ME!


  1. Kenz! wow! am i impressed. this is such a neat're going to be like one of those blog mom's that everyone talks about...just wait you'll be asked to go talk at the next girls camp ;) i love the idea of the "a-list" and i'm going to try it. and for the record: i think you're a very good mom...i wish i could be more like you as a mother.

  2. I LOVE this idea!!! I am going to adapt it into my life. I feel as overwhelmed as you do too with "To Do" list, though I am a firm believer in them. They are depressing at times. Not to mention, life, kids, husbands, callings, neighbors and friends all seem to find a place in the day which was unexpected & take a place above the "To Do" list. So, I LOVE your idea! Thank you for it. You are a FABULOUS mom & need to give yourself more credit than you do. I think you will start to see it as you blog away, at least I hope you will.

  3. That is AWESOME!!! I am Totally going to start writing an A-list. Thanks for the Great Idea!

  4. Love it! I think I need to do that too cause Dar always asks that when I have worked at home for the day....."Ya Dar, been working on Katie, Kelly, Amy, Debbie..." Great idea! Loving the blog!