Creating the To-Don’t List

In some cases, a To-Don’t list can be just as helpful as a To-Do list. You may not have heard of the To-Don’t List so let me explain. The To-Don’t list of things you don’t want to do everyday. Some of these things include activities that hold you back, drain your energy and productivity, or anything that wastes your time. Here is a quick overview of why a To-Don’t List can help you Avoid Time-Wasting or Repetitive Tasks from Lifehacker.

Creating a To-Don’t List will help you remember all the things that hold you back, it will also help you clarify the things you want to add to your daily To-Do List.

Like your To-Do list, your To-Don’t list needs to be personalized to your lifestyle and habits. Unlike a To-Do list that will probably change daily, a To-Don’t list is updated much less frequently, because of instead of being a list of specific things you need to do everyday, it’s more like a general list of things you don’t want to do everyday. So, it will likely only get revised when you realize there’s something else that needs to be added to it. Once you’ve got the To-Don’t List that works for you, post it where you can see it everyday.

Here are a few examples of things on our To-Don’t List:

Don’t stop what you’re doing every time an email comes through
Emails are like buses. They come through all day long and there is always another one on the way. Some of them are important, some less important and some are time wasters.

Don’t always fall back on what’s worked before
Learning shortcuts for doing things is great. But sometimes, doing things the way you’ve always done them doesn’t give you the opportunity to come up with new, better ways of doing things. Pay close enough attention to what you’re doing to recognize when it’s time to try a different approach.

Don’t put off till tomorrow
Just because we don’t like doing something doesn’t make it any less important. Instead of putting off things we don’t want to do or are afraid to do, it’s better to simply deal with them as they come up. Today.

Don’t dwell on the past
The past is full of positives and negatives. Dwelling on the past steals focus away from the present. Learn from it and move on.

Don’t let yourself get dragged down by negative people
Negative people can drain your energy, and send you into your own negative feedback loop. Stay vigilant with your attitude. Recognize when you’re being influenced by someone else’s negativity and push the re-set button.

Not sure how to go about creating your To-Don’t List? Here are some suggestions from Allen Gannett in TNW News: The To-Don’t List: Things you will NOT do. Now it is your turn. Get out there and stop doing things that have held you down from day-to-day.

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