A different kind of “done”

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It feels good to check off a task on your list and mark it done. You’d like to be able to do that more often but you only have so much time and energy.

What if instead of waiting until you complete the task you mark it as done when you do ANY work on it?

Does that sound a little nutty? Hold on, Skippy. Let me ‘splain.

Marking a task as done doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to do. It simply means you’re done for now. If there’s more work to do, you can put it back on your list.

Huh? Why would you mark it as done and then put it back on the same list?

Because doing that will help you to get better at planning and actually finishing your work.

You stopped working on the task for a reason. You didn’t allow enough time, you needed more information, or something more important came up. Or maybe you ran out of gas and just didn’t feel like continuing. By understanding why you stopped, the next time you have a task like this you’ll be better prepared.

But that’s next time.

For now, if you’re not ready to continue working on something, check it off and move on to the next task on your list. When you’ve worked your way through everything on your list, look at the task you marked as done and if there’s more work to do, put it back on your list.

You might put it at the bottom of today’s list and do it later today. You might put it on tomorrow’s list. You might postpone it to another day. Or you might decide you don’t want to do it at all and spare yourself a lot of time and effort.

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