A Did-List is Vastly Superior to a To-Do List

A Did-List is Vastly Superior to a To-Do List

Everyone’s got a To-Do List.

You live your entire adult life with your to-do list, and  You’ll die with your to-do list, too. It will never end.

Have you ever noticed that when you cross off one item from your to-do list, two more items seem to appear? It’s a never-ending task list. Lets be honest, it’s boring. and you don’t enjoy it that much.  

The Did List

A Did List is a list of things that you have done already.

When I first tell people to write down the things that they did, they immediately say, “Well I already cross things off of my to-do list all the time! I love doing that!”.

But crossing things off of your list is just not the same.  

The Differences Between a Did List and a To-Do List are HUGE

Don’t ignore these huge differences. A to-do list makes you want to do less things. It doesn’t reward you.

Crossing off that item doesn’t feel that great because a to-do list is about reduction. Don’t hypnotize yourself into the feeling of reduction. A Did List makes you feel growth.  

The Benefits of a Did List

You get to have a list of things you did each day to look back on.

Maybe you need an alibi, or just need help remembering which day you did something. You’ll be surprised how often this comes in handy.

How long ago did I make that pasta sitting in the fridge? When did I talk to that client? Was that last leg-day workout on Wednesday or Tuesday? Now you’ll know. It’s the little things.

You feel like doing more with a did list. You want to make it bigger and bigger and bigger. It’s exciting. It feels like a game. It’s like you’re playing an RPG game and completing quests. It motivates you.

It moves you. You go from the task completion zombie to someone that takes time to appreciate what they did in a day (instead of grumbling over the things that you didn’t get done).

After all, appreciation means growth!

What Kind of Did-List Should I Use To Be Productive Though?

You can decide now how you want your did list to be.

Would you like it to be a list of tasks you completed?

Or would you like to make a list of every single thing that you do in a day?

Let’s try to decide that now by looking at the pros and cons of each style  

Making a Did List of Only Tasks Done


  • Reward yourself only for completing tasks you deem productive, which encourages you to do that more.


  • You don’t have a list of everything you did that day
  • You may become too focused on what is productive and what isn’t.

Making a List of Everything You Did:


  • You don’t have to think about if it’s a “productive” task or not. You just write it in.
  • Get a nice dopamine boost every time you write something, which helps your brain operate better.
  • Makes you realize how much stuff you actually do (appreciating the little things is important).


  • You have to write in it constantly
  • Writing in daily tasks can make them feel even more repetitive (depends how that makes you feel personally)

Personally, I like to make a list of everything that I do. This helps me become aware of myself. I don’t write in eating/oral care though. Thats pretty much my only rule.

This is a great addition to my “third person perspective” (I talk about this extensively in the Insanely Productive Hypnosis File Guide). It makes me aware when I am doing pointless activities that are not actually fulfilling me. Staring off into a screen somewhere? We’ve all been there. Way too much. Try out both styles and see which one you like more.

What App Should I Use for a Did List?

I was really surprised that an app for this does not exist yet, considering that hundreds of to-do list apps exist. As of time of writing, I am using Diaro. Or just use a paper notebook like the good old days.  

Should I still use a to-do list?

Of course! You can use both. I just hope that your daily did-list is always bigger than your to-do list.

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