My “to do” lists contain all the items I feel I need to accomplish in a given day. I include everything from “write the article for that publication” to “do the laundry.” Then I race around, often unsuccessfully multitasking so that I accomplish everything on the list. I figure that all of the items are top priority.

What really happens? I don’t accomplish each activity. What’s wrong with this picture? Maybe I need a “to don’t” list.

“A ‘to don’t’ list? What’s that?”

At the recent Home Office Link meeting, Robin Sacks challenged us to rethink our lists. In exploring who we are, why we do what we do, Robin suggested we prioritize the activities on our “to do” lists along these lines:

  • Are each of those activities aligned with our goals?
  • What is really important to me?
  • If I don’t take one of these actions, what happens?

Hmmm…are all of those activities on my list truly aligned with my goals? Is each item of equal importance? Maybe not. Those are the items, Robin suggested, that belong on our “to don’t” lists. Those are the items that I am not going to do. These activities don’t move me toward my goals, so I’ll stop doing them.

I’ll align my activities for the day based on my overall vision and daily goals. If my overall vision is to create freelance articles, then writing and researching better be top activities. If I’m taking some time for R&R, then by all means take it … and don’t do the laundry! (Laundry is not my vision of R&R!) How freeing!

Enjoy making your “to don’t” list!

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 9/11…in memory of all of those who perished on 9/11/2001…in praise of all of those who committed heroic life saving acts…