It’s too easy to fall into the trap of aligning your productivity levels to your actual self-worth. Which is why I’ve recently made sure to acknowledge every little task I do and feel proud of it — even if it’s just remembering to answer an email or dealing with the gigantic spiderweb on my windowsill in my bedroom that’s been freaking me out for the last three weeks.
These little moments make my chest muscles unclench because it just feels so good to have completed a task I irrationally believed I couldn’t. Like, who here has put off making an appointment with your doctor because just the thought of making an appointment fills you with anxiety and dread? But then, you call, and the whole thing takes maybe a few minutes, and you realize: I did it. I conquered that moment. You feel lighter and more invincible. You have the confidence to start tackling other to-dos on your list, even bigger ones — it’s like a domino effect. These moments matter.
When everything in our careers and personal lives seems to gravitate around big wins like meeting difficult KPIs, getting a raise, or saving enough money for a downpayment on a house, it’s easy to forget how awesome it actually feels to conquer the little things. If you, like me, need a little reminder every once in a while that the tiny achievements matter just as much as the bigger ones, here’s a list of everyday moments you should totally give yourself credit for.
1. Finally getting around to answering an annoying/stressful email, only to realize it took you less than one minute, and it wasn’t that bad.
2. Using a highlighter to cross something off your to-do list and not even getting any ink on the marker.
3. Folding laundry and realizing *all* of your clothes are now clean and ready to wear.
4. Waking up and remembering you prepared an outfit for yourself (yes, it still counts if your outfit is sweatpants and a T-shirt).
5. Putting away all your groceries and staring at your neatly(ish) organized fridge.
6. Finishing a book you didn’t particularly love but wanted to finish out of commitment.
7. Doing someone a small but meaningful favor, like dropping off their mail because you’re already on your way to the post office, or picking up groceries for your parents.
8. Answering a text right away even if you don’t feel like it.
9. Putting your shoes away instead of taking them off when you remember to and leaving them strewn about in your apartment.
10. Finding a specific Google doc right away.
11. Getting your inbox down to zero (or close to it, anyway).
12. Getting off of your last Zoom call of the day.
13. Learning how to fix something (whether it’s a physical object or a weird glitch on your laptop) without paying someone to get it done for you (or just leaving it to be broken forever).
14. Remembering to put lotion on your legs after you shower.
15. Taking your vitamins five full days in a row. Yes, this counts even if your vitamins come in gummy form.
16. Addressing an issue before your manager brings it up.
17. Cooking an egg just the way you envisioned it.
18. Opening all your mail and throwing away the stuff you don’t need.
19. Breaking down all those boxes from online orders that have slowly been stacking up and eventually took over an entire corner of your home.
20. Returning clothes that don’t fit or a product you weren’t psyched about and getting that refund $$$ in your bank account a week later.
21. Making an appointment and writing the date down in your planner.
22. Moving assignments and deadlines over to the next day and knowing that your worth and identity is not tied to your work performance or the number of things you’re able to get done in a day.
Gina Vaynshteyn is an editor and writer who lives in LA. You can find more of her words on Refinery29, Apartment Therapy, HelloGiggles, Distractify, and others. If you wanna, you can follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
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