084 The Not-To-Do List

Do you easily get overwhelmed by the number of tasks on your to-do list? Do you struggle to make ends meet with all the “stuff” you need to do in a day? Do you go to bed at night with overdue tasks?

If yes (or really even if you answered no), I think you could be better off by creating a Not-To-Do List.

The not-to-do list is really a simple thing. And it’s exactly what it’s name suggests it to be.

It’s a list of all the things you don’t have to do in a day, or better yet if you’re up for a challenge, all the things you can’t do in a day.

The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once wrote the words:

To attain knowledge, add things every day; to obtain wisdom, remove things every day

And it’s really that what we’re trying to obtain here. Often, we don’t realize that it isn’t the enormous number of tasks on our to-do lists which are taking most of our time in a day, rather it’s the other unproductive work (not on the to-do list) that’s doing so. A not-to-do list aims at eliminating the time we spend on rather futile work and so subsequently allows us more time to do what’s actually on our to-do list and that which is meaningful.

There isn’t a basic not-to-do list for the majority of people because this works the same way to-do lists work. They are characteristic and distinct for everyone. But some common bullet goals in the not-to-do list may include:

The Not-To-Do List
  • Multi-task
  • Coffee after 2 pm
  • Social media for more than 15 minutes a day
  • Check e-mail constantly
  • Say yes to everything
  • Bring your phone to bed
  • Sleep for less than 7 hours
  • Keep putting things off and procrastinating

. . . . .

You can add or subtract bullets and shape them completely according to you. Because it’s your not-to-do list and stuff that you don’t want to be doing.

Try creating a not-to-do list yourself, and remember to acknowledge and really not do whatever is on that list of yours and experience the magic of subtraction by “getting” more time to do meaningful stuff.

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