To Don’t List



You have probably written a to-do list more than once in your life, but how about a to-don't list?

One of the staples of every productivity system is the mighty to-do list, and with good reason. It helps you stay focused and make a serial prioritization of what needs to be done. I frequently use to-do lists and will probably write about them in the future.

However, one of the most productive activities I have found is the to-don’t list. Every few months or so I set aside some time to review how I’ve spent my time. Specifically, I look for things that distract me from my mission – either personally or professionally – and then list them.

For me, some of these things include:

  • Specific websites. Usually news or tech websites I browse when bored (or distracted).
  • Instagram. This was a big challenge for me and the only way I overcame it was by unplugging completely.
  • Product research. If there was something that I was thinking of buying, I would go online, and waste more time (and brain power) than necessary.
  • Too much phone. The habit of constantly checking email etc. even when at home or with family.

Keep the list close and review it regularly to see how you are doing and to remind yourself of the things you would like to avoid.

Finally, don’t be discouraged if after a few months, time wasters you were really good at avoiding have snuck back into your life. This happens to me frequently, and it’s why writing a to-don’t list is a recurring activity for me. After doing this a few times, you will begin to see patterns emerge that may encourage you to make bigger changes, like deleting that app, or asking someone for support or accountability.

Remember the end goal of all this is to be effective with our time here for God’s glory.

~ Sean

Closed for now ... something new coming soon(ish).