Productivity helps you power through the day. The second your alarm clock sounds in the morning, you have this sudden urge to get things done. But as the day goes on and the sun begins to set, you realize that your daily “to-do” list isn’t halfway done.

That doesn’t mean you spent the day lounging on your couch, stuffing your face full of crispy potato chips, either. So how do you find a sense of accomplishment by releasing those dreaded feelings of guilt for what you haven’t done?

This article is for the workaholics, the perfectionists and the hard workers who struggle to find a sense of fulfillment in the tasks they’ve managed to complete. Because even when you have a few more obligations left on your plate, that doesn’t mean you can’t feel pleased with your current level of productivity, too.

Cut the comparisons

Falling into the comparison trap is easy. We all know the feeling of measuring our level of productivity up to that of others. But while you may think that referencing your productivity to that of those in your social circle can help kick your sense of drive into high gear, your comparisons may just leave you with a sense of guilt and negative self-judgment, instead.

Emphasize self-love and focus on your personal sense of growth. Psychology studies show that comparisons can create a negative spiral of low self-esteem that may be the sneaky reason behind your unwarranted feelings of guilt.

Plus, remember that your friends, family members and acquaintances are only likely to share their successes with others. What you don’t see is that they probably still have just as much work to get done as you.

Love the process, not the end

If you only find fulfillment when your goals reach completion, you’ll see that happiness isn’t an achievable goal since there will always be another task to tackle.

Instead of thinking to yourself, “I still have so much to do,” look at everything you’ve already done! Instead of feeling guilty for the work that lies ahead, acknowledge what you’ve accomplished thus far.

When you fall in love with the process of moving toward your goals, you’ll find it easier to celebrate the little victories that you complete in your path. Remember that certain tasks can only be fulfilled over a long span of time, so it’s crucial not to put unreasonable amounts of pressure or guilt on yourself when you don’t experience the results that you desire right away.

Realize that breaks are productive

In much the same way that your body needs a break, your mind does too. Taking breaks is a crucial part of getting stuff done on a regular basis. If you’re feeling burnt out, how can you expect to perform your best and complete your necessary tasks?

Taking a much-needed break is a great way to energize your body and increase your productivity levels. Since most of us find ourselves too caught up in the high-fast speed of modern day society, we forget how important it is to stop and take a breather from time to time.

Think of breaks as a necessary part of fulfilling your goals or getting that dreaded task that’s taking forever done. Remember to put that metaphorical — or literal — sand timer on its side while giving yourself ample time to complete tasks. When you take the time to unwind, you can reenergize and tackle your daily duties with ease.

Create a plan (and write it down)

Did you know that you’re 42% more likely to fulfill your goals when you write them down regularly? Even when you don’t get things done, keeping an organized plan for how you intend to tackle your goals brings you one step closer to seeing them to fruition. Plus, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment in putting your goals and tasks on paper — even when they’re not fully completed.

Even when you’re not physically in motion, putting your pen to paper can give you a feeling of accomplishment before your actions are even done.

Remember that you shouldn’t feel lazy or guilty every moment you’re not braving through the storm of fulfilling every necessary task. Kick off your shoes and unwind every now and again. Maybe even take a nap or two. If you didn’t get everything done today, tomorrow manifests as a whole new day full of opportunities and time to get back on track.

how to stop feeling guilty when you don't finish your to-do list. it never feels like you get enough done, even when you're a go-getter achiever.