Most of our lives are spent getting stressed and run down by the amount of stuff there is to do all the time, without necessarily taking time to think whether we should be doing it all at all.
TO DO or NOT TO Do – that is the question….!
The flip side of these lists of course is a NOT TO DO list – much less talked about, but just as important a tool for productivity and living the life you want to live.
It’s basically a way to focus on what you don’t want, in order to get what you do want.
Work out what’s important to you, and what isn’t…
One of the best pieces of advice I have been given has been to work out what is “to do or not to do” in life, and act accordingly.
By this I mean that, just as a plain old TO DO list can be so much use to you, so too can a NOT TO DO list.
It can help you identify your priorities, and what you really should be saying no to a little more.
Here are loads of examples for inspiration – take a look and see what you think:-
- NOT TO DO – Spend money you haven’t got
- NOT TO DO – Spend time and energy on people or things which make you feel negative
- NOT TO DO – Say yes to things you don’t want to do or have no time to commit to
- NOT TO DO – Forget about giving yourself a break
- NOT TO DO – Eat food that makes you feel bad
- NOT TO DO – Stress about things you can’t change
- NOT TO DO – Try and keep your home immaculate at all times
- NOT TO DO – Try to please everyone
- NOT TO DO – Try to do everything
- NOT TO DO – Answer the phone if you are in the middle of something important
- NOT TO DO – Agree to something there and then (give yourself time to think whether you can fit it into your schedule)
- NOT TO DO – Spend too long on Facebook/Pinterest/twitter (insert any time waster you may have here)
- NOT TO DO – Prioritise work over family
- NOT TO DO – Procrastinate
- NOT TO DO – Watch bad TV or repeats just for the sake of it
- NOT TO DO – Get stuck in a rut
- NOT TO DO – Stay in a job you hate
- NOT TO DO – Overfill the weekends with social stuff
- NOT TO DO – Overfill after school with activities
- NOT TO DO – Schedule meetings and appointments so they take up the entire day
- NOT TO DO – Leave things until the last minute
- NOT TO DO – Feel guilty about not cooking from scratch every night
- NOT TO DO – Set unrealistic targets for myself and others
- NOT TO DO – Moan about things that you can change
Do any of these catch your attention?
A little task for today is to sit down with a blank piece of paper and think of all the things that you really don’t want to do anymore, whether they be time wasters, ways of thinking, causes of stress, etc… just brainstorm all the things that you can think of.
Once you have your list, a great idea is to stick it somewhere close to your TO DO list. That way you can make sure that your TO DO list doesn’t have anything on it that contradicts the NOT TO DO list.
It may just help you stay a little more focused and become a little more productive going forward, and that just makes sense!