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Workspace Design

Surround Yourself With Progress

Rather than dispensing with to-do lists and action steps, we recommend preserving them as an inspiring testament to progress already made.


When you complete a list of action steps, your instinct might be to throw the list away. After all, the work is completed! However, some creative professional teams take a different approach; they relish their progress. Some go so far as surrounding themselves with it.

The inspiration to brainstorm comes easy, but the inspiration to take action is rare. Especially for creative professionals, the constant flow of ideas is often the greatest inhibitor to making ideas happen.Especially amidst heavy, burdensome projects with hundreds of action steps and milestones, it is emotionally invigorating to surround yourself with progress. Why throw away the relics of your achievements when you can create an inspiring monument to getting stuff done? A “Done! Wall” reminds you that you have moved forward in your journey.

Why not decorate your work space with completed action steps? While we tend to surround ourselves with art and imagery that serves to inspire us in our work, is it more inspiration that we need? Most creative professionals report that they are not short of ideas, but rather the discipline and organization to make them happen. For this reason, consider surrounding yourself with testaments to taking action.

There is no better push-towards-taking-action than action itself.

This tip was written by Scott Belsky, Behance Team. Explore more tips, and check out Behance’s guest postings for small businesses trying to make ideas happen, hosted at American Express’ OpenForum.
Comments (14)
  • newforcomment

    What a mess..

  • twright

    Big projects are messy, so is hard work. I like the idea of celebrating the progress, especially when the process is messy!

  • undoredo

    Mess is More.

  • standrew

    Recently I actually tried something similar out – I got tired of those days where you finish feeling like you haven’t got anything done, so I decided to start to use an ‘anti to-do’ list where I would write down all the things that I did through the day, even if they weren’t on my original to-do list. This worked really well and helped me feel good about accomplishments and therefore relax and recover after work. Then I decided to review a weeks worth of to-do’s and anti to-do’s and this proved even more helpful as I could see what I was spending my time on and where I could find leverage to be more effective.<br />
    <br />
    I have got so much more done since I started this system!<br />
    <br />
    Andrew<br />
    callitech.blogspot.com

  • elmnt

    Yes, what a mess. And it’s bad Feng Shui, by the way, to work facing a wall. Turn those desks around.

  • THTdeBoer

    Isn’t this look-over-the-shoulder technique really productive? Personally I prefer a fresh start when I take up a project. Every project has it’s own habitat. Mixing this with all kinds of information seems rather distracting to me.

  • chaohlin

    What happens when the achievements become the reason to slow down?

  • Joyce

    I don’t care for excess. Clean and on task. I also like the “bad feng shui” comment below. True! (and it made me chuckle).

  • Pierre-maurice

    during the project construction and then “table rase” clean surrounding, 

    shall post my desk soon…

  • Tj Blank

    Seems like a good follow up to this article would be a script or app for ActionMethod which would let you print out your completed steps in a visually appealing way.

  • dianehochman

    Fabulosity.  I love this.

  • Mike Hirst

    Ideas are worthless. Building something is all that counts. Read “Do The Work” by Steven Pressfield.

  • Andreas Kopp

    I just saw on Scotts Personal Blog some Boards with Post-it notes. Would it be possible that you write a blog post about that? I would be interested to here how you do those boards.

  • erilene

    good

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