Have you ever found yourself feeling empty and unproductive at the end of the day? Life can sometimes feel like a jumbled cluster of chaotic moments. With so much to do, many of us try to multitask our way through our schedules, only to feel as if we’ve barely made a dent. It can be difficult to feel accomplished when faced with an ever-growing to-do list.
I personally struggle with internally and emotionally recognizing my own accomplishments. Although I intellectually understand what I have accomplished and am proud of it, I am internally detached from it. Feeling accomplished is a learning process for me, as is life itself. Through trial-and-error, I’ve learned what helps me be more productive and accomplished by the end of the day.
For those who might wear too many hats, feel overwhelmed and under pressure, or simply struggle with feeling accomplished, there are different steps and daily actions you can take to feel a stronger sense of accomplishment.
What It Means to Feel Accomplished
Accomplishment is different for everyone. I feel accomplished when I am at peace and fulfilled with what I’ve completed for the day. For me, it offers a sense of meaning and purpose to my life. Accomplishment leads to success and can benefit your home life, career, and overall mental health and well-being. Whatever your objective, whether you’re working towards a financial goal, committing to a new morning routine, studying to expand your skillset, or meeting deadlines, striving towards your full potential is something of which to be proud. Feeling accomplished builds confidence in your direction, abilities, and overall growth.
Step into Action
If you struggle with feeling productive and accomplished or finding inspiration to be accomplished, then I recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and into action. Take a chance to explore different options that might help encourage you to reach your goals and end your day feeling accomplished.
Prepare the Night Before
Gearing up for the next day shifts your mindset to a more goal-oriented focus. Before bed, ask yourself three questions as you prepare for the next day.
- What do you want to do first thing in the morning?
- What would you like to accomplish during the day?
- What must be completed tomorrow, in order of importance?
Answering these questions offers clarity and an opportunity to prioritize tasks for the following day.
Brain Dump a Master To-Do List
Keep a running list of all of the things you need to do. Prioritize and organize as you wish. Try not to let it overwhelm you, as this list is for convenient reference and reminder. A Master To-Do List allows you to register different tasks you can take care of during your down time, commute, or just when you need a change. It helps to get it all out on paper (or whatever digital format you prefer), to release some of the mental pressure that’s been built up over time.
Take time to look inward. It’s important to think about the things that truly fulfill you. What would YOU like to actually accomplish? Your goals do not have to be the same as those of others. Review your thoughts, behaviors, and energy as you continue to grow. People change, as does their direction and sense of accomplishment. Reorganize your goals as needed throughout the week, year, and beyond.
Have a Slow Morning
Rushing around right after you wake up isn’t usually a calm and reflective way to tackle the day. A slow morning provides a moment to prepare for the day in your own way, on your own time. For me, that usually means early morning exercise, coffee and quiet time, and a little bit of reading.
Spend at least 30 minutes per day moving around. Take the stairs, get your steps in, or fit in some high-intensity work-outs. Whatever your method, ensuring some kind of exercise keeps your mind and body healthy.
Stimulate the Mind
For me, this means reading. I read for at least 30 minutes each day. Whether you choose to read a book, play Sudoku, check the news, or browse your favorite Reddit threads (mine has been r/HomeImprovement lately), there are plenty of sources to stimulate the mind.
One of the worst habits I am working on breaking is the tendency to ignore my body when I am really busy. I’m horrible at making sure I am hydrated and eating enough throughout the day. It’s an unhealthy practice learned from a former job. What’s crazy (but so obvious), is that despite juggling so many different tasks, I always felt depleted and unaccomplished at the end of the day. This was partly due to the fact that I wasn’t able to step away for a quick refuel. Staying fueled through proper nourishment, hydration, and rest keeps your energy and focus on point.
Tackle the Toughest Task
Sometimes, the easiest way to kick-start a focused attitude is tackling your toughest task as early as possible. Checking off a major to-do on your day’s list is a win for the rest of the day! Oftentimes, you will find that you can breathe easier and still have the momentum to take on more. Completing your toughest task first (or as early as possible) offers a solid sense of achievement.
Log Your Productivity
Track your achievements through the day. Each person has their own ‘personal wins’. No matter how big or small your completed tasks are, it helps to log some (if not all) of them. Take note of what you’ve accomplished. Logging what you’ve done allows you to see your accomplishments in black and white. It serves as an excellent reminder of goals achieved and tasks completed, especially when your days fly by in a blur.
Clean Up After Yourself Immediately
Choosing to delay simple chores creates clutter that quickly piles up and will require more time and effort later. This little tip is something I hold near and dear to my heart. When I DON’T clean up after myself, I genuinely feel sad, disappointed, and unkempt. Cleaning up after myself right away takes a few seconds to a few minutes at most. If I leave the cleaning for a week or two, it can take up to 2 hours. I personally feel much more accomplished when I take the time to clean immediately, rather than delay the inevitable. So, try it out, see how it makes you feel. Make the bed when you wake up. Wash your dishes. Sweep the floor. Toss your junk mail. Pick up and clean as you go. These little tasks add up to a peaceful mind, clean space, and a big win – at least in my book.
Efficiently Use Your Reserves
What dreaded task do you keep putting on the back burner? Take a look at your Master To-Do List on days when you have a little extra energy. Choose one item you’ve been putting off and pour your energy into it. Tackling a looming task feels so satisfying. It allows you to let go of some of the weight you’ve been carrying around.
Say no to say yes to other opportunities. Don’t get bogged down with obligation and unnecessary tasks. Embrace saying no to the things that aren’t truly important to you. When you refuse something, it allows more opportunity for you to explore what you choose. Learning to say no can feel like an accomplishment all on its own!
Tap into a Support System
Connect with trusted friends and family members for words of encouragement. If you’re looking to branch out and find a different support group, I recommend looking into Meetup. Meetup is a great platform that provides access to local and online groups that share your interests. There are many opportunities for virtual and physical meets, several of which provide flexible and casual options. Free for individual users, it’s a convenient way to check out the local scene, build connections, and make some new friends. If you aren’t having much luck finding an existing group to join, you can always create and organize your own group for a monthly fee.
Reframe Your Thoughts
Understanding and feeling a sense of accomplishment comes from experience and exposure. You must know yourself to measure self-worth and achievement. Otherwise, it won’t matter what you’ve achieved on paper, or anywhere else. Societal marks of success are not a true measurement when you are unable to believe within. Make your thoughts your own. What does success and accomplishment look like to you? When you reframe your thoughts, you are training yourself to think differently.
To encourage positive thinking that leads to success, try replacing “I can’t” with “How can I?”. What you come up with may surprise you.
Do Something You Love
If you are happy and healthy doing what you love, this action can brighten the rest of your day. One act of self-care can help fulfill you with a sense of purpose and achievement. With so much focus on checking things off a list and navigating the to-dos in life, it’s important to make sure you do something you love. Why else are we here, living the lives we do?
How do you define your own accomplishments? Identifying what you want to achieve is one of the first steps to feeling accomplished. Try not to restrict accomplishment to a single aspect of your life (such as your career). Your life, what you want, and how you choose to celebrate are unique to you. Live outside the box. Grab victories where you can and celebrate your own milestones.
Accomplishments are what you make them. So, between your busy days, bad days, and lazy days, remember that if you want to feel accomplished, then make a move. Try out some of the daily actions above or some of your own, then see how you feel at the end of the day.
Do you have any other suggestions on how to feel accomplished? Share below!