We are all busy and jumping between tasks and projects. This makes it easy for your accomplishments to get left behind as you move on to the next thing. Keeping an accomplishment log will help you track what you have completed, your successes and will also serve as a resource for items you can reuse later.
The following list has my top 4 reasons I keep an accomplishment Log and have also provided a free Excel sample you can use to start.
1. Tracking Your Progress
Everyone has a goal unless you live by the old adage “If you fail to plan you plan to fail”. Even if you are not a goal oriented person you could simply have checkpoints with management or stakeholders. You need to log your successes as it is very easy to forget in December that small bit of code you wrote in January that made your project a success. There are a few things below that are perfect for your log.
- Were there emails that someone sent thanking you for your efforts?
- Did someone send you kudos?
- Did a co-worker thank you for an assist?
- Did you or your project team win an award?
- Did you complete training or add to your job skills? Soft Skills?
Having this information in one place allows you to not only remember, but also bring it up at the right time.
2. Body Of work
Always have a copy and list of your work items. Your body of work becomes your best reference not only to what you do but how to do it. Additionally, the best way for someone to evaluate you on what kind of job you will do for them is to look at what you have done in the past. Using an accomplishment log becomes the best way to keep track of this material.
3. Get Ideas for future work
By tracking your accomplishments, you can identify items that might be lacking in the solutions you are developing or the organization you are working with. You can see trends in your work and use those to guide you to the next big thing. Perhaps one of your solutions will become your next side project or startup idea.
You have already worked the idea this far, you’re not starting from scratch. How many solutions or ideas have you seen that you said, “Hey, I did that a while ago”? Seeing your log will definitely plant the seeds for your next big thing.
4. Code Reuse
When you think about it, the solution you created took time and effort. You created something new. Why should that be a one time win? Many times I use a code segment developed for one project and use it to solve an issue or reuse it as part of a solution on another project. The following list shows examples of items I have used on more than one project over the years. In perfect reuse fashion, I have also turned them into a blog post and reference in the list below.
- Getting Started with Date Dimensions with PowerBI
- 5 Resources to Create Realistic Demo Databases
- How to Convert Excel Tables into Dimensional Fact Tables Using Query Editor
- Connecting R Scripts to SQL Azure for Data Discovery and Profiling
- How To Install R and RStudio on a Mac
Resource: Excel Sample Accomplishment Log
As your year goes on, it is easy to forget your accomplishments unless you write them down. The following points can be used to create your log. The Excel workbook sample below, link here on GitHub, can act as your starting point for developing your own list.
The following sample fields are described below.
- Accomplishment – The task you wish to log. Describe in detail.
- Project – What was the project or task?
- Benefit – What benefit was realized?
- Person Impacted – Who was impacted by your solution? How many people?
- Business Impact – What was the customer/client/business impact? Was there time saved? Can you quantify this impact?
- Impact – What was the impact in simple terms.
- Dollar Impact – Can you describe the impact of dollars saved, generated?
- Mentioned In Review Period – Did you mention this in your annual, or quarterly review? When do you plan to add it to your review?
- Problem Solved – What was the project solved?
- Opportunity Created – Did you create an opportunity for future work? Can you monetize this accomplishment? Use it elsewhere? Provide the Sales team with a lead?
You work hard to achieve success. You should track it so you can reuse or reference it later. Even if it is just reviewing your accomplishments to yourself, you can take pride in what you have done in those times you need a little boost. We tend to only remember the problems or challenges, it is also great to remember our successes.
Resource: Work-Life Balance Series
The following articles are also part of the Work-Life Balance series.
- A Consultant’s Guide to Work-Life Balance
- Year-In-Photos Challenge Changed my Work-Life Balance Outlook
- Make Your Job Great Again