Sometimes being more productive is about NOT doing things. After hearing Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, talk about his not to-do list at a startup event, it inspired me to start my own not to-do list.
A not to-do list is exactly what you think it is: a list of things you should not do. It’s a great reminder to keep yourself in check. Rather than trying to do more, sometimes it’s about doing less.
Some people get a better perspective when something is presented in a negative form. For example, instead of thinking “Always check email at 10am” you could reframe it as “Do not check email first thing in the morning”.
After using a not to-do list for a couple weeks, I can say that it has been really effective and I want to share my top 10 not to-do list.
In no particular order:
- Do not check email first thing in the morning
- Do not try to please everyone
- Do not try to get it perfect on first attempt
- Do not procrastinate on priorities
- Do not go to sleep with unresolved issues
- Do not constantly check my phone for notifications
- Do not eat junk food on work days
- Do not engage in online flame wars
- Do not read any negative news
- Do not skip my weekly review
Set up your own not to-do list and try to remind yourself of it every day. I look at this list every morning (and it’s one of my desktop backgrounds) to remind myself what not to do.
What’s on your not to-do list?
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