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The Not To-Do List: 7 Things to Stop Doing to Be More Productive

The Not To-Do List

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To-do lists can be your best friend when it comes to being productive. They can show what needs to be done and can lead you to achieve your goals.

Have you ever thought about a Not To-Do List, though?

While to-do lists show you what needs to be done, a not to-do list can tell you what to avoid so you can be more productive.

I’ve just recently learned of the concept of the not to-do list, and I have to say I’m a fan. There are things I do constantly that keep me from reaching the levels of productivity I know I’m capable of.

So, I decided to put together my own not to-do list. Maybe some of these not to-do tasks will help you as well.

1. Stop checking email constantly

From the moment I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night, I am constantly checking my email. I don’t have the notification sound turned on, but if I happen to notice that I have a new email I’ll check it right away.

The better thing to do would be to set aside certain times of the day to check, process, and respond to emails. There is something to be said for working in batches. Instead of trying to process emails one at a time throughout the day, I can dedicate specific time each day to handling them.

2. Stop thinking you have to do everything right away

I see this in myself as well as others all the time. It’s so easy to get distracted by a phone call or someone coming into your office needing something from you.

Instead of dropping what you are currently working on and taking care of the interruption, make a plan to avoid the distractions. For instance, if someone calls and asks you to do something, let them know when you plan to work on it. That way they know you won’t be handling it right away unless you actually have some free time to do so.

Or, if someone comes into your office with a task for you to handle, put it in your in box or other capture area that you can review when you have time to work on those tasks.

Learn how to master your time so your time doesn’t master you.

3. Stop checking social media first thing in the morning or last thing at night

Constantly logging on to social media can definitely hamper your productivity efforts. If you have need to be on social media due to your work, schedule time to be on there just as you do with your emails back in #1.

4. Stop being a people pleaser

Repeat after me: I can’t please all the people all the time.

Click here to learn how to say no without feeling guilty.

5. Stop overcommitting your time and energy

When we overcommit, we are cheating ourselves and others out of our best productivity. Read more about how to overhaul your calendar and stop overcommitting here.

6. Stop doing things outside of your passions, skills, strengths, and gifts

Of course, I mean the things you have control over adding to your schedule. I do not mean your commitments as a spouse, parent, or employee.

If you are asked to do something that you can’t get passionate about or don’t have the skills or gifts to do the task, then say no! Life is to short to waste on things that drain us.

7. Stop worrying

This is a hard one. All you have to do is turn on the news to see how bad our world is. Add on to that issues your family may be having or work related problems that come up and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Take a deep breath and turn it over to God.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34

I’m curious, what would you add to YOUR not to-do list? Leave a comment and let me know.

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