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Why It’s the Time to Start a “Not-Do” List
Picture this scenario…
Art Girls Jungle 11 Feb 2020

David Shirgley List

Image via DavidShrigley Instagram

Picture this scenario… it’s Monday morning at the office and you plonk your bag at your desk, turn on the computer and let the monitor whir into action. Yell good mawning to your fellow colleagues, catch up with your work wife about your weekend antics and slowly sip your coffee as you scroll through your emails. Then you decide to stretch your legs – because … it’s a must after 30 minutes at the computer! Reply to a friend on WhatsApp then sneak a peek at your Insta. And probably repeat again to put off the actual tasks of the day. Now the time has come for you to slowly reach for your dog-eared notebook buried under some books. You anxiously open it up to find the dreaded TO-DO LIST!

Am I right in saying that the art girl’s daily to-do list seems never ending? And instead of doing its purpose of increasing productivity the to-do list can do the actual opposite at times? Causing a lotta procrastination in a form of rebellion – like the case in point above?

So, hey why not go rogue and fight against the grain by creating a not-do list? This amazing exercise really frees up time for reflection and long-term planning, the very activities most likely to propel your life—and your business—forward. By being conscious of what to avoid, it’ll automatically channel your energy into things that you want to do.

If you want to take your productivity to the next level, here are 6 habits to add to your no-do list.

via the cut

Image via The Cut

1.  Quit trying to do everything
Learn from the Pareto Principle which holds that 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of effort. That means you are probably spending 80 percent of your time not accomplishing much. Cut down your to-do list and take away 80%  of the menial tasks – like tidying your desk that is written on their at least three times.  When you’ve simplified it to the bare essentials, concentrate all your drive on those 20% important tasks. By keeping only the absolute important things on your list and letting go of the rest you will be a lot happier once you achieve those big goals which will make the day less daunting and more rewarding.

Me every time I ask someone for even the tiniest favor over email. (Via @hillergoodspeed)
Me every time I ask someone for even the tiniest favor over email. (Via @hillergoodspeed)

2. Stop answering all emails / calls and messages
Being stuck in email land by answering every Tom, Dick and Harry will be high up there on your daily to-do list. And yes, it’s polite to answer people but it is not always necessary, so cross it off! All the effort that goes into painstakingly typing, wording and formatting all your replies can take up a huge chunk of your time and not always take you anywhere. So selectively reply to higher priority emails and messages to make room for more important tasks at hand.

3. Thinking you have to do everything ASAP
Apart from the to-do list and not-do list, you should have a do-later list. This is to add in tasks that come to mind or from your colleagues and clients throughout the day, usually administrative, annoying tasks that don’t take much time but aren’t majorly important too. If you stop what you are doing to take on these small tasks it may disrupt your good work flow. So stick them on the to-do-later list and work through them at the end of the day.

via the wing

Nancy Pelosi shreds via @thewing

4. Putting important tasks off
Procrastination is killer. It may seem like a good idea to put off that task now, but that’s just setting yourself for a work jam later on,  which can be hell. Get started on your most important projects NOW and stop putting them off.

5. Being a perfectionist
Trying to do things perfectly is actually stopping you from getting things done in the first place. Give yourself the permission to make the odd mistakes which you can correct later on.

6. Determine the return on investment for your to-do list.
Every item on your to-do list can be thought of as having a return on investment—whether that be in emotional or financial capital. If your task can be delegated to someone else and that time is better allocated to more value-aligned endeavors, it’s probably a good candidate for your “stop doing” list.

Good luck and stop doing the things that you know are wasting your time and start building your success.

Text by Peigi Mackillop

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