What is a ta da list and how do I use it? Let’s get into it. I’m going to guess, with confidence, that you’ve heard of a to-do list. If you’re a busy professional or a mom and anything like me (do a lot, like to feel productive, consciously works on self care and self love everyday) you probably love a to-do list. And you especially love to cross things off of a to-do list. You know the feeling. I like it so much I’m the type of person that writes something I’ve already done on my to-do list just to cross it off. You too?
What is a ta da list?
A ta da list flips a to do list on it’s head. Instead of writing down what you are going to do, you write down what you have already done.
Why is a ta da list helpful?
As a working mom of three I am floating in to-do lists and I have a knack for writing a highly ambitious to-do list that I rarely finish in the time period I hoped for. I found myself getting discouraged when I got to the end of the day, looked back at my to-do list, and realized that I was nowhere near finishing it.
When I went to solve this disappointment my first thought was, “why do I put so much on the to-do list in the first place? Maybe if there was a reasonable amount of things on my to-do list I would be able to finish them.” But I realized that I *like* to write a long audacious to-do list, I don’t want to get rid of my long to-do lists. So instead, I decided to start making a tada list.
My ta-da list is a list I write at the end of the day that allows me to clearly see everything I got done. Instead of feeling disappointment, I feel proud of myself. The truth is, while I might not have finished everything on my to-do list, I probably added a bunch of things to that list without realizing it. Things that were more urgent or more important than the things on my list. Instead of focusing on the things that didn’t get crossed off, I write down (and cross off) the things I did accomplish.
How to ta da list
Everynight, once a week, or whenever you need it
I don’t write a ta da list every night, although you definitely could. I leave my ta da list notepad right next to my bed and I grab it when I feel myself analyzing my day with accomplishment and/or productivity disappointment. It’s a tool to help me snap out of it when my brain goes negative for very little reason.
While I like to write my lists at the end of the day, you can use a tada list to write out what you have accomplished and propel you to keep going. Don’t underestimate this simple tool — give it a try and see what works for you.
Don’t overthink it, let your list flow
I have found, over years of practice, that a tada list works best when I “Elsa it” and just let it go. Start writing. Don’t judge what comes to mind. Just write. Just list. Heck, some days my tada list says “kept children alive” and that’s it! And some days really silly things come to mind for me like, “only ate one spoonful of Nutella” (if you know me, you know this is an accomplishment!!). The tada list is a tool to help you see what you *have done* and stop thinking about what slipped through the cracks of the busy day. It’s a tool to help your mind see the good and keep the glass half full.
Find a notepad or notebook and make it your ta-da list notepad!
For a long time I used random sheets of paper to write my list, then I bought a small moleskin notebook to leave next to my bed instead. It was nice to have a specific notepad to use and a specific spot it was kept so I could build the habit. In the spring of 2022 I finally took the step to create a notepad of my own, with the help of my friend and designer, amyamybobamy. It’s the perfect size for a ta-da list, looks cute next to your bed, and makes you want to write on it. Plus the back of the paper can be used for whatever else you need to jot down. Check them out!
Pat yourself on the back
After I’m done writing my ta-da list I like to go back through each line and cross it off or check it off — YOU KNOW THE FEELING — and remind myself that I *did* do something today.
What is a ta da list? Now you know!
I hope you use this tool for a better nighttime self love ritual. You deserve it!