The To-Do and the Stop-Doing list?

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So we are all busy people. That’s a fact. At times it is beyond us how we could possibly fit in all the things into our daily routines. We try to be productive and we try to be efficient with our time, and yet we do not always manage it. It certainly does not feel that way.

So we create a to-do list – the things we really need to get focuses on. We try to keep it short as we know that a list with 5 or fewer items are more likely (163%) to be completed. Perhaps we plan this at the end of our previous day and review it throughout the next morning. We prioritise the list and our time allocated to the tasks (more creative things in the morning etc). Each time we finish a task we have great satisfaction in striking it off.
Then there is the Done list. This is important too. We know that the to-do is a never-ending list. The items we struck of yesterday are magically replaced by new items for today. As you have these never ending lists, however short you keep your list, the Done list is also very important. It is great to cross the items of but the great sense of satisfaction is short-lived while that particular list is still active. Medium to long-term we sometimes lose sight of the things we are achieving. At the end of the day and before we create the to-do list for tomorrow we update the Done list. Just a handful of major achievements or events. This helps us to keep tab on medium term progress. This list is also helpful in meeting as we can quickly lookup when that particular ‘thing’ was done.
And yet we continue to feel overwhelmed and now we notice we have several lists being maintained in parallel. So rather than the things we have to done, what about the things we have to stop doing. It is said that many successful people have mastered the skill of simply saying no. To most things. All of the time. Perhaps we volunteered for too many things, or our screen time has become too much, we do not spend time in the mornings correctly etc. Do the things that we do really bring us value, happiness or fulfilment? They could be just two or three smaller things but these soon mount up.
However it is just as important to take action for the things we want to stop doing as it is for the things we need or want to do, so to free up high valuable time. Create Stop-Doing list and place it somewhere so that you are constantly reminded. It would also be good to share this with others so that have accountability. Ask them to check in on a regular basis to ensure you are on the right track. There are plenty of things we should all stop doing, for example:
  1. Saying “yes” when really you mean “no”
  2. Checking email constantly. Batch them instead and certain time intervals
  3. Allowing others to control your time or calendar
  4. Multi tasking during meetings
  5. Spending time with the wrong people
  6. Being negative
  7. Drifting without a purpose
We only have 1440 minutes a day.
Let’s spend it purposefully and intentionally.

3 Comments


    1. Thank you.

      Makes me wonder what is the biggest thing for people out there, that they have recently had to stop doing?

      For me, one of the biggest things was feeling I had to respond to all emails and do so quickly. So glad I am no longer tied to that inbox.

      Anyone else?

      Reply

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