Friday, March 4, 2011

Make a Not-to-do List

The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the WorldMost of the posts on this site encourage you to add something to your to-do list.  That’s a problem.  Your to-do list is already full.  There isn’t time to add one more thing.

You need to make a not-to-do list. Identify the ways you spend time that don’t move you closer to your goals for happiness and success. Write down the things that you don’t want to do anymore on a list and post it where you can see it every day.  Then stop doing those things!

Making a not-to-do list is more difficult than it sounds. Some things that drain your time might be comfortable routines developed over years.  Others may be moving you toward goals that are no longer important to you. Others might be enjoyable, but not as enjoyable as other activities you could be doing.  

In the Art of Non-Conformity, Chris Guillebeau coined the term “Radical Exclusion” to describe the mindset of “shutting out absolutely anything that serves as a distraction from your key priorities.”  Guillebeau proposes that you stop doing things that don’t produce a deliverable, say no to busywork and say no to things that you would only do out of a sense of obligation.

You have time to do anything you choose to do.  But not enough time to do everything.  Choose wisely!