Many of us are so used to creating to-do lists that we can’t imagine there’s a better way. But what if I told you that a don’t do list is a better option? Because you really shouldn’t try to do it all. Here’s why you should create a don’t do list for increased productivity.
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This post is Day #1 of our 25-Day Productivity Challenge! You can find the entire round-up HERE. Make sure you pin this post so you can find it later and don’t forget to take action!
Why a To-Do List Doesn’t Work
Many of us like to create to-do lists with every imaginable task that we need to complete on it. But the problem with this approach is that on most days, we go to bed feeling like a complete failure.
Not because we accomplished nothing. But because we didn’t finish the to-do list!
Do you ever assume you’ll finish the to-do list? Most of us know it isn’t humanly possible, but we still feel like failures when we don’t cross every last item off.
Can you relate?
One problem is that we include important and urgent items on that list and don’t know how to prioritize what’s really needing to get done that day.
One other problem is that we think we should do it all. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
All About Planned Neglect
Have you ever considered that you should plan to neglect some tasks and responsibilities? After all, every responsibility in the home, or community, or homeschool, or at work, or at church, shouldn’t be yours.
You need to start with your big goals, your priorities and vision. From that, decide which activities, tasks, and jobs you should continue to do. And also decide which items you will not do, at least not in this season.
Remember, just because you embrace planned neglect of something right now doesn’t mean you can never do it.
Right now, I’m focusing on homeschooling my kids, serving in my church, and growing my businesses. Other things, like intense housecleaning, sending out Christmas cards, or cooking from scratch really aren’t on my priority list. That doesn’t mean they never will be, but just not for this season.
Have you embraced the concept of planned neglect? If so, you are now ready to take action.
Create Your Don’t Do List
Now instead of creating a great big to-do list, create your master don’t do list from which you will filter through all the options of your day.
What things just don’t make the cut?
Remember, when you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to another. So start with your priorities and decide what has to get done. Then, what things aren’t necessary? In fact, which things will you not do for this season so you can work toward your goals? That’s your don’t do list.
Maybe you won’t take expensive family vacations for the next 3 years so you can pay off debt. Maybe you won’t eat out as much so you can save money.
You might decide you will not have each of your 3 kids in 4 weekly activities each so that you’re not living in a perpetual state of chaos. Maybe you won’t spend as much money on kids birthdays so you can donate to a charitable cause.
Maybe you won’t volunteer in this season because your family needs you home.
Whatever it is, find that filter with which to make all your scheduling and task decisions. Take action and create your don’t do list now! It will make decisions so much easier because you’ll be clear on your priorities.
See you tomorrow for Day #2 of the Productivity Challenge: Setting Goals!
- How to Become a Productivity Ninja
- Results-Based Goal Setting for Busy Moms
- Decluttering Made Simple
- Yearly Lesson Planning in Less Than 1 Hour