A Success Log Can Help You to Achieve More
Your life is full of lists. A to-do list that only ever seems to expand. An email inbox that overflows every morning. A phone full of notifications and voicemails. And every one of those items represents a thing you need to do, a question you need to answer, or a responsibility you need to take on. It can be draining. It feels like you’re never getting anything done – just checking items off a list and striving to keep up with the demand, which is a dangerous place to be. That feeling of overwhelm can knock you down and kill ambition quickly, especially if your employer isn’t doing everything in their power to both enable your successes and recognize them. This is why a success log is so important.
With a success log, you can track the things that you accomplish, the achievements you reach, and the effort that will help motivate you to further and future success.
What Is a Success Log?
A success log can look different for different people. The goal is simple, though. It is a document, list, or diary in which you record the things you have accomplished on a daily basis, highlighting the items that might otherwise go unnoticed.
This may sound familiar: you wake up at 5am, go to the gym, get the kids to school, clear your inbox of important messages, spend half your morning in meetings, have lunch with an important client, and then power through three hours of work in the afternoon. And yet… your to-do list has a dozen items you didn’t get to.
Most people will go home feeling dejected after a day like that. They didn’t get everything done, and none of the big stuff got checked off. In reality, you’ve just had a very busy day in which you were successful at keeping your personal, family, and professional lives in balance, responding to all urgent needs, and working toward your work goals.
But in a day or two, will you remember that? Probably not.
That’s where a success log comes in. This simple document – which could be as basic as a note on your phone, or a diary app on your laptop – consists of a list of the things you’ve accomplished on a given day.
Some people will go as far as writing down quite literally everything they complete – a reverse to-do list. Others will focus on the accomplishments, however they define them:. the things that make them happy or that they had to work hard for. Ever get to inbox zero and feel really good about it? It’s a temporary state, but it’s a major accomplishment, and if you don’t write it down, you’ll never remember.
Using Success to Motivate and Grow
One of the reasons a success log is so valuable for busy professionals is that it helps contextualize and remap how you work. Most people work from a list, get as much done as they can, and then reset and do it again. With a success log, you can do three things:
1. See what you’ve already accomplished
2. See what it took to reach success, including any failures that preceded precipitated it
3. Map exactly what you need to do to replicate success in the future
It sounds simple, but that little nugget – the ability to look back and see what you did three months ago to successfully close a deal or get your inbox to zero – can be immensely valuable. It’s a learning tool, and more importantly, when you are feeling dejected and overwhelmed, it’s a motivational tool.
For people who work in environments where motivation and learning tools are in short supply, this is immensely important. It provides the feedback and tracking you need to know that the work you are doing is not only well received, but a success. It’s something that your boss may not offer, but that you can take for yourself, and if a time comes in the future when your boss questions your accomplishments, you have a written log of what you’ve done.
Building on Your Success with a Clear Eye for the Future
Success is a powerful motivator, but it won’t be there every day. Some days will be a letdown. But they can be learning experiences if you have a log of what you’ve accomplished, what it took to get there, and how that’s different from your recent efforts.
Create a success log to map out what you’ve done against your goals, and you’ll provide yourself an invaluable tool for current and future success.
Do you keep a success log? We would love to hear how you’ve implemented this in the comments below.