Keep a Done List

I find myself ending my days feeling like I haven't achieved anything.

But in reality I do a lot of things that don't feel like achievements.

Like watching an insightful YouTube video, reading articles, spending time with my mom, properly taking breaks and staring out the window, going for walks, replying to emails, researching and obsessively consume new information which generates ideas for blogs, finishing tiny features of an app, writing 1% of a blog before getting distracted to do another thing because I don't feel like writing, etc.

All these can be added to my done list.

Olive Burkeman on the "done list":

... [it] starts empty, first thing in the morning, and which you then gradually fill with whatever you accomplish through the day. Each entry is a cheering reminder that you could, after all, have spent the day doing nothing constructive – yet look what you did instead!

And it's not just for feeling better about yourself. It helps align you towards the right things to focus on.

start thinking of each day as an opportunity to move a small-but-meaningful set of items over to your done list, you'll find yourself making better choices about what to focus on. And you’ll make more progress on them, too, because you’ll waste less time and energy being distracted by stress about all the other stuff you're (unavoidably) neglecting.

The keyword here is small-but-meaningful set of items.

I expect myself to finish big tasks in a day, my three things a day tend to be ambitions and highly unspecific: "finish app", "finish article", "start kaggle competition".

I'm still learning how to break things done, and see these smaller tasks as achievements as well.

An important factor to building this habit is by making it easy.

I discovered a Raycast extension for Obsidian for Raycast that has a command for appending to daily note.

This makes capturing my completed tasks, TILs, and thoughts super convenient.

And also gives me an opportunity to finally start using Obsidian.